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Full text of "Don Carlos : or, Persecution. A tragedy, in five acts"

DON CARLOS; 



OR, 



PERSECUTION. 



A TRAGEDY, IN FIVE ACTS. 



LORD JOHN RUSSELL. 



SIXTH EDITION. 



LONDON: 

PRINTED FOR 

LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN, 

PATERNOSTER-ROW. 

1822. 



London : 

Printed by A. & R. Spottiswoode, 

New- Street- Square. 



HENRY RICHARD, 

LORD HOLLAND, 

THIS PLAY IS DEDICATED, 

BY AN AUTHOR WHO WOULD FEAR TO ENCOUNTER 

THE CORRECTNESS OF HIS JUDGMENT, 

THE PURITY OF HIS TASTE, 

AND HIS KNOWLEDGE OF THE CUSTOMS OF SPAIN, 

DID HE NOT, 

AT THE SAME TIME, 

HOPE FOR INDULGENCE FROM THE PARTIALITY 

OF HIS FRIENDSHIP. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/doncarlosorperseOOruss 



PREFACE. 



I must confess that the two main props upon 
which the following attempt at a play is built, 
have no solid foundation in history. With re- 
spect to the passion of the Prince for the Queen, 
we have only the testimony of De Thou, who 
informs us, upon the authority of Louis de Foix, 
a Parisian architect employed by Philip to build 
the Escurial, and trusted by Don Carlos with 
many of his secrets, " that frequent exclamations 
were uttered by the Prince when he came out 
of the apartment of the Queen, with whom 
he had familiar intercourse, expressing indig- 
nation, as if the King had deprived him of his 
wife*," — alluding to the fact that the Princess 
had at first been betrothed to him. If this 
evidence be slight, there is none whatever for 
supposing the Inquisition interfered at all in the 

* Thuanus, lib. xliii. c. 8. 
A 3 



VI PREFACE. 

trial and condemnation of Don Carlos : That 
tribunal, however, has so many sins upon its head, 
that I can scarcely do it any injury by adding 
an imaginary one to the catalogue. And if I have 
not followed historical testimony with respect 
to this individual case, I have faithfully pre- 
served many of the rules of proceeding observed 
in the Inquisition. Some deviations, indeed, 
will be remarked, — for instance, the confronting 
of the witnesses with the accused, the appear- 
ance of the Bishop of Osma, and the visit of 
Osorio to the Prince in prison ; but I imagine 
that, according to the strictest probability, ex- 
traordinary circumstances may occur on extra- 
ordinary occasions. I have likewise flattered 
the character of Don Carlos, as others have 
done before me, in the portrait I have drawn of 
him. 

I trust, however, I shall not be severely cen- 
sured for these large deviations from true 
story. It is surely somewhat unreasonable, on 
the part of the reader, to require from the 
author of a professed work of fiction, a strict 
adherence to fact ; and to confine the writer of a 
novel or a play to the same rules which are 
rightly imposed upon an historian. We may 



PREFACE. Vll 

find fault with Voltaire for having displayed 
to us, in too favourable a light, the court of 
Lewis XIV. ; but it would not be equally just 
to blame Madame de Genlis for having em- 
bellished, in her romance, the character of 
Madame de la Valliere. It is proper to blame 
Hume for suppressing facts discreditable to his 
heroes, the Stuarts ; but it is going somewhat 
too far to call the author of " Old Mortality" 
to account for the partial colouring he has given 
to his historical characters. Leaving these 
points, however, to the judgment of the reader, 
the main facts, which I have borrowed from 
history, are the following : — 

About the year 1555, several Spanish Luther- 
ans printed, out of Spain, copies of the Bible in 
the Spanish language, which were soon after- 
wards introduced into that country by the care of 
Hernandez, one of their number. The Inquisi- 
tion, alarmed at the progress made in reading the 
Scriptures, arrested many Lutherans, and, in 1559, 
celebrated two " Acts of Faith," or autos-da-fe, at 
Valladolid. At the former of these, Don Carlos, 
then a boy, presided : he was obliged to take 
the oath mentioned in the play, and it is affirmed 
a 4 



Vlll PREFACE. 

by Llorente that he conceived a violent hatred 
against the Inquisition from that time. 

Don Carlos is said to have been passionate in 
his youth, and one day struck Don Garcia de 
Toledo, when on a hunting party with him. 
About 1565, Don Carlos entertained a project 
of going to Flanders, which he renewed in 1567. 
The steps he took on this subject are thus re- 
lated by Llorente in his history of the Spanish 
Inquisition : — 

" Le marquis de Berg et le baron de Montigny 
se rendirent a Madrid en qualite de deputes des 
provinces de la Flandre ; ils etaient envoy es pour 
regler les points relatifs a l'etablissement de 
PInquisition dans ce pays, et a d'autres objets 
qui avait cause des troubles parmi les habitans. 
Marguerite d'Autriche, princesse de Parma, 
sceur naturelle du roi, etait alors gouvernante 
des Pays-Bas, et avait consent! a ce voyage. 
Ces deputes s'aperc^urent que Don Carlos etait 
tout occupe du projet dont je viens de parler, et 
ils travaillerent a fortifier dans son esprit la reso- 
lution de le faire reussir. lis ltd offrirent de 
P aider dans le plan qu'il meditait de se rendre 
en Allemagne. Pour faire toutes ses offres, on 



PREFACE. IX 

eut besoin d'un intermediate ; ce fut a M. de 
Vendome, chambellan du roi, qu'ils s'adres- 
serent pour cela. II promit au prince de le de- 
clarer chef souverain des Pays-Bas, apres avoir 
depouille du gouvernement civil la princesse 
Marguerite, et le due d'Albe du gouvernement 
militaire, s'il promettait la liberte des opinions 
religieuses. Gregorio Leti parle d'une lettre 
de D. Carlos au comte d'Egmont, qui fut trouvee 
dans les papiers du due d'Albe, et qui fut cause 
que ce governeur fit decapiter le comte, ainsi 
que celui de Horn : il ne put faire subir le meme 
sort au prince d' Orange, parce qu'il avait deja 
pris la fuite. Sur ces entrefaites on travaillait a 
punir en Espagne (quoique par des moyens in- 
directs) le marquis de Berg, et le baron de 
Montigny, qu'on avait enfermes dans deux cha- 
teaux separes. 

" Quoique ces deux derniers seigneurs eussent 
offert au prince des secours en argent pour son 
voyage, il ne les accepta pas, tant il croyait 
pouvoir se les procurer par lui-meme, et les de- 
marches qu'il fit pour cela firent decouvrir la 
conspiration. II ecrivit a presque tous les grands 
d* Espagne pour demander leur appui dans une 
entreprise qu'il avait projetee : il re9ut des re- 



X PREFACE. 

ponses favorables ; le plus grand nombre renfer- 
mait cependant pour condition que cette entre- 
prise ne serait pas dirigee contre le rot son pere. 
L'amiral de Castille (descendant de la famille 
royale en ligne directe masculine) ne se contenta 
pas de cette precaution. Le silence mysterieux 
dont cette pretendue enterprise etait enveloppee, 
et la connaissance qu'il avait du peu de bon sens 
du prince, lui firent soup9onner qu'elle pourrait 
etre criminelle. Pour ecarter le danger, il re- 
mit au monarque la lettre de son fils, lorsque 
deja Don Carlos avait tout revele a D. Jean 
d'Autriche, son oncle, qui le communiqua aus- 
sitot a Philippe II. Quelques personnes soup- 
9onnerent qu'il entrait dans le plan de la con- 
spiration de faire perdre la vie au roi. Mais les 
lettres ne prouvent d'autre objet, que des de- 
marches faites pour avoir des secours en argent. 
Don Carlos avait accorde toute sa confiance pour 
cette affaire a Garcie Alvarez Osorio, son valet 
de chambre, qui etait complice de son crime 5 il 
l'avait charge de suppleer de vive voix a toutes 
les explications qui n'etaient pas contenues dans 
les lettres dont il etait porteur. Ce confident fit 
plusieurs voyages pour remplir les vues de son 
maitre a Valladolid, a Burgos, et dans d'autres 
villes de la Castille. Le prince, n'ayant pas ob- 



PREFACE. XI 

tenu tout Pargent qu'il desirait, ecrivit de Ma- 
drid, le 1 st Decembre, 1567, unelettre a Osorio, 
qui fut contresignee par Martin de Gaztelu, son 
secretaire ; il y disait qu'il n'avait re9U que six 
mille ducats sur toutes les promesses et les 
lettres-de-change qu'on avait negociees en Cas- 
tille, et qu'il en avait besoin de six cent mille 
pour T enterprise en question ; qu'afin de se les 
procurer, il lui envoya douze lettres en blanc 
signees de lui, et sous la meme date, pour qu'il 
les remplit des noms et surnoms des personnes 
a qui elles seraient remises ; il lui ordonnait en 
meme temps de se rendre a Seville, ou il pour- 
rait continuer les demarches commencees, et 
faire usage de ces lettres." 

Don Carlos was afterwards tried for this 
offence by a special commission named by the 
King. The following is the account given by 
Llbrente of the result of the trial. It is to be 
observed, however, that the historian Cabrera 
avers the confidential friends of the prince never 
gave credit to the report that he had any in- 
tention of conspiring against the life of his 
father; Philip, however, wished to have it so 
believed. 



Xll PREFACE. 

" L/enquete que D. Diegue Bribiesca de Mug- 
natones avait faite etait deja assez avancee au 
mois de Juillet pour motiver un jugement som- 
maire, sans entendre le coupable, ou pour 
nommer un procureur du roi, qui, en qualite 
de fiscal, accusat le prince des crimes constates 
par V instruction preparatoire. On ne fit au 
prince aucune signification judiciaire ; on n' avait 
que des declarations de temoins, des lettres et 
d'autres papiers. II resultait des pieces qu'on 
ne pouvait, d'apres les lois du royaume, se dis- 
penser de condamner D. Carlos a la peine de 
mort : il etait convaincu du crime de leze-ma- 
jeste au premier et au second chef; d'abord, 
pour avoir forme le projet et tente de commettre 
un parricide, et ensuite pour avoir voulu usurper 
la souverainete de la Flandre par le moyen d'une 
guerre civile. Mugnatones en fit un rapport au 
roi, et sur les peines que les lois etablissaient 
contre les autres sujets qui se rendaient cou- 
pables de pareils crimes ; il ajoutait cependant 
que des circonstances particulieres, ainsi que la 
qualite du criminel, pouvaient engager sa ma- 
jeste a faire usage de son autorite souveraine 
pour declarer que les lois generales ne parlaient 
pas des fils aines des rois, parcequ'ils etaient 
soumis a d'autres lois d'une nature plus elevee, 



PREFACE. Xiii 

qui touchaient a la politique, aux raisons d'etat, 
au bien public ; enfin, que le monarque pouvait 
encore, pour le bien de ses sujets, commuer les 
peines que ces lois imposaient. ,, 

" Le cardinal Espinosa et le prince d'Evoli 
declarerent qu'ils partageaient 1'avis du conseiller 
Mugnatones : Philippe II. dit alors que son cceur 
lui dictait de suivre l'avis de ses conseillers, mais 
que sa conscience ne le lui permettait point ; 
qu'il ne pensait pas qu'il en resultat aucun bien 
pour l'Espagne, qu'il croyait, au contraire, que 
le plus grand malheur qui put arriver a son 
royaume serait d'etre gouverne par un monarque 
prive d'instruction, de talent, de jugement, de 
vertus, et rempli de vices, de passions, surtout 
colere, feroce et sanguinaire ; que toutes ces 
considerations le fo^aient, malgre 1' amour qui 
Pattachaient a son fils, et le dechirement que 
lui causait un sacrifice aussi terrible, de laisser 
continuer la procedure d'apres les formes pres- 
erves par les lois ; neanmoins, considerant que 
la sante de son fils etait, par une suite des ecarts 
de son regime, dans un £tat si deplorable qu'il 
n'y avait aucun espoir de la sauver, il croyait 
que ce serait adoucir ses dernieres peines, de 
negliger un peu les soins qu'on lui donnait, pour 



XIV PREFACE. 

satisfaire toutes ses envies dans le boire et le 
manger ; car, d'apres le desordre de ses idees, il 
ne pouvait manquer de commettre des exces qui 
le conduiraient bientot au tombeau : que la seule 
chose qui Poccupait etait le besoin de persuader 
a son fils que sa mort etait inevitable, et qu'en 
consequence il etait absolument necessaire qu'il 
se confessat pour assurer son salut eternel ; que 
c' etait la plus grande preuve d' amour qu'il put 
donner a son fils et a la nation Espagnole," 

Horrible as this declaration on the part of a 
father appears, it seems that Don Carlos was not 
left to die by his own imprudence and natural 
disease, He received from a physician, by 
the command of the prince of Evoli, and ap- 
parently with the connivance of the King, a 
medicine the effects of which he survived only 
four days. 

During his last moments, Philip came into the 
room and gave him his blessing. This last 
scene is thus given by Llorente. 

" Don Carlos, instruit par Olivares que sa ma- 
ladie etait sans remede, et sa mort prochaine, 
engage en meme temps par ce medecin a s'y 



PREFACE. XV 

preparer, voulut qu'on appelat F. Diegue de 
Chaves, son confesseur ordinaire : ses ordres 
firrent executes le 21 Juillet. Le prince chargea 
ce religieux de demander en son nom pardon au 
roi son pere : celui-ci lui fit repondre qu'il le 
lui accordait de tout son cceur, ainsi que sa bene- 
diction, et qu'il esperait que son repentir le lui 
fesait obtenir de Dieu. Le meme jour, il rec^ut 
avec la plus grande devotion les sacremens de 
1'Eucharistie et de l'Extreme-Onction: il fit aussi, 
avec l'agrement du Roi, un testament qui fut 
ecrit par Martin de Gaztelu, son secretaire. 
II fut en agonie le 22 et le 23 ; dans cet etat, 
il ecouta avec tranquillite les exhortations de 
F. Diegue de Chaves ; et du docteur Suarez de 
Toledo, son premier aumonier. Les ministres 
proposerent au roi de voir son flls, et de lui 
donner une autre fois en personne sa benediction, 
cette grace devant etre un surcroit de consolation 
pour lui en mourant. Philippe II. prit Pavis 
des deux eccl^siastiques que j'ai nommes ci- 
dessus ; ils repondirent que Don Carlos etant 
bien dispose^ il etait a craindre que la vue de 
son pere ne fit naitre quelque trouble dans ses 
idees. Ce motif le retint pour le moment : ce- 
pendant, ayant appris dans la nuit du 23 au 24 
que son fils etait a la derniere extremite, il se 



XVI PREFACE. 

rendit dans son appartement ; et etendant le 
bras entre les epaules du prince d'Evoli et du 
grand prieur, il lui donna une seconde fois sa 
benediction, sans en etre aperc^u. Cela etant 
fait, il se retira tout en pleurs : son depart fut 
bientot suivi de la mort de D. Carlos, qui expira 
a quatre heures du matin le 24 Juillet, veille de 
la fete de St. Jacques, patron de PEspagne." * 

Those who wish to know more of Don Carlos, 
will do well to consult the New Monthly Maga- 
zine for Sept. and Oct. 1822, where they will 
find two articles evidently written by one per- 
fectly master of the subject. 

* Llorente. Histoire Critique de 1' Inquisition d'Espagne, torn. iii. 
chap. 31, 



DON CARLOS; 

OR, 

PERSECUTION. 

A TRAGEDY. 



DRAMATIS PERSONS. 



MEN. 

Philip, King of Spain. 

Don Carlos. 

Don Luis Cordoba. 

Valdez, Great Inquisitor. 

Lucero, an Inquisitor. 

TJie Bishop of Osma. 

Osorio, follower o/Don Carlos. 

Three Inquisitors — Officers and Soldiers. 

WOMEN. 

The Queen. 

Donna Leonora Cordoba. 

Lady attending on the Queen. 

Scene — Madrid. 



DON CARLOS. 



ACT I. 

SCENE I. — A Room in the Inquisition. 
Valdez. Lucero. 

VALDEZ. 

W ell met Lucero ! we expected you 

With anxious thoughts ; how prospers our new church 

In proud Granada ? 

lucero. 
Well as could be hoped. 
It is a youthful plant, and has not yet 
Into the earth struck root that can withstand 
A sudden tempest; the accursed race 
Of Mahomet still cling with barbarous love 
To their old idol ; some eight hundred years 
Of unbelief have choked the soil with weeds. 
Their spirit still is proud ; each minor bond 
Of dress, of language, of familiar custom, 
Links them with force to their unhallowed faith. 

VALDEZ. 

We shall amend these things ; in a few years 
Their Moorish garb shall yield to Christian cloaks, 
Their tongue shall slip into the pure Castilian, 
b 2 



4 DON CARLOS, ac 

Their household customs, all that constitutes 
A separate race shall be purged out by fire, 
And penalty of death ; enough of this : 
We have more pressing matter in debate, 
That needs your counsel. 

LUCERO. 

Let me hear the subject. 

VALDEZ. 

'Tis of the highest ; our young prince, Don Carlos, 
The heir of Spain ; you know his forward humour, 
His disrespectful tones and harsh constructions 
On our proceedings ; we, who should obtain 
His reverence and his awe, are viewed with mute 
And sullen disregard. 

LUCERO. 

I know it well. 

VALDEZ. 

Had he locked up the malice in his breast, 

And done no overt act of enmity 

To the most Holy Inquisition, time 

Must in the end have crowned his purposes ; 

And we should have beheld the mighty bulwark 

On which we stand, the soldiers of the faith, 

Shaken, perhaps destroyed. 

LUCERO. 

Indeed, this fear 
Hath often weighed upon my mind. 

VALDKZ. 

In mine 
It fretted into action ; thus I reasoned : 



sc. l. A TRAGEDY. 5 

If I can spur the irritable stuff 

Of which the prince is made, to act against us ; 

If I can make a cautious enemy 

Spring from his ambuscade, and show himself 

An open foe, then may we close in fight 

And gain the field, while Philip lives and reigns. 

LUCERO. 

The path is perilous ; what are your means ? 

VALDEZ. 

You may remember Leonora, now 

The wife of Cordoba, the prince's friend. 

LUCERO. 

I do. 

VALDEZ. 

This lady early loved the prince : 
She was brought up at court, and sighed for him, 
Her first young girlish passion ; it was met 
With carelessness and scorn ; she felt the slight. 
Now for a stranger tale, King Philip's son 
Almost unconscious to himself, loves her 
He should not, the fair Queen of Spain. — 

LUCERO. 

Elizabeth ! 

VALDEZ. 

Even so — and Donna Leonora is 
The lady of the court, who waits upon her ; 
She hates the queen for being loved of Carlos, 
She hates Don Carlos that he loves the queen : 
She is of our observers ; now you hold 
The clue ; this lady and her husband urge 
b 3 



6 DON CARLOS, A c r . 

The prince to show his secret sentiments 
Of mercy to the Lutheran; and save 
The victims of our cruelty ; some few 
Of these I suffered to escape from Spain, 
To fasten on Don Carlos the foul stain 
Of favouring heresy. 

LUCERO. 

It was well done. 

VALDEZ. 

Nay more ; 
By the excitements of Don Luis Cordoba, 
The prince has seen the Flemish deputies, 
Who now are at the court to plead the cause 
Of rebels, but from all men's sight debarred : 
Don Carlos spoke with them, his tender soul 
Melted to learn what hardships were endured 
By these vile heretics ; and better still, 
He meditates a journey into Flanders, 
With the kino! hope, good youth, to reconcile 
His father's rebels to his father's crown : 
This journey is a secret ; when 'tis known, 
'Twill work the king most strangely. 

LUCERO. 



Was seemingly the prince's friend. 

VALDEZ. 

He seemingly is still. 



Yet Don Luis 



And so 



LUCERO. 

What drove him then 
To aid your projects ? 



sc. I. A TRAGEDY. 

VALDEZ. 

Is he not our servant ? 
But to unveil the truth, this Cordoba 
Was placed about the prince when young, — all know 
Don Carlos then was choleric ; he struck 
In some short fit of passion his attendant ; 
Forgot it, and believed it was forgiven : 
But this same Cordoba, ignobly framed, 
Of base low hatreds, and mean coward fears, 
Has panted ever since for treble vengeance, 
Yet dares not ask his own right arm to do it, 
And darkly borrows our assistance. 

LUCERO. 

Deep 
The soundings of the sea on which you sail ! 
And Donna Leonora aids in this ? 

VALDEZ. 

Aye, and with zeal ; ever upon the watch 
To mark the gestures of the queen, and strike 
Into Don Philip's breast the poisoned dart 
Of jealousy, she burns to do us service ; 
'Tis thus that from the dross of human nature 
Our alchymy extracts the golden ore, 
And makes our riches from vile dirt. 

LUCERO. 

'Tis well 
If these your covered mines are safely laid : 
I fear some counterplot may make them burst 
On our own heads ; the king is prudent, knowing, 
And scarcely will be brought to see the guilt 
b 4 



8 DON CARLOS, act i. 

Of his own son ; or if he fire an instant, 
Returning tenderness may make their peace 
And leave us stranded on the shore. 

VALDEZ. 

Fear not ; 
The king has got a demon : 'tis suspicion ; 
Whose senses are refined to pain, whose ears 
Are stung to madness by a cricket's chirp ; 
Whose jaundiced eyes in every sheep perceive 
A covert wolf; and, mark you well, Lucero, 
He who reposes not in confidence 
That men are somewhat better than they are, 
Conceives them worse. Philip beside is crazed 
With love of fame ; he does not love his queen, 
He does not love his country : but he loves 
To swell his name with their bright attributes : 
And when he sees his consort and his throne 
Both menaced, will he not resist ? 

LUCERO. 

In truth, 
You have profoundly weighed these things ; I come 
A stranger to this counsel, and as yet 
Know little of its bearings ; be it yours 
To guide, and I will follow. But say, father, 
Think you the prince is deeply struck with passion 
For his fair step-mother ? 

VALDEZ. 

In good truth, no. 
The prince is in that melancholy mood, 
The offspring of a young and teeming fancy, 
That boys call love ; but no more like to love, 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 

Than the weak lightning of a summer night, 
That plays upon the horizon's edge, is like 
To that which issues from the loaded cloud 
And rives the oak asunder. — 'Twas his nurse, 
Or his old tutor, grey-beard Osma, told him 
That he should marry the princess of France, 
As once our treaties ran ; his childish brain 
Has ever since been dreaming of her. 

LUCERO. 

Much 
Know you of human passions, reverend father. 

VALDEZ. 

Man is the only book I read : but why 
Waste time on speculation ? let's begone, 
And soon the sceptre of imperial Spain 
Shall be our mortgage : we the real kings, 
And Philip but our deputy. — Away. 



SCENE II. 

An Apartment in the King's Palace, 

Enter King Philip with a letter in his hand, followed hy 
an Officer. 

PHILIP. 

Bid Donna Leonora Cordoba 

Attend us presently : [Exit Officer. 

Strange words are these ! {reading.) 
" The queen who seems so sad, can smile sometimes, 



10 DON CARLOS, AC 

When the king is not in her company, 

On one who touches the king nearly :" So — 

This were no other than Don Carlos : he 

Always had favour in her eyes, but still 

It was an innocent regard — yet innocent 

She cannot be who wears the crown of Spain, 

And is observed of levity — the boy ! 

How have I tended him from infancy 

To be my age's staff; thinking to rest 

On him my heavier cares, and curtained schemes 

Big with the glories of a future age ; 

And now he is a vulture, hovering o'er me, 

Watching my death to feed on my remains. 

The people cry : " There is the prince shall reign 

When Philip is no more :" old nurses bless 

His beardless face, and silly children toss 

Their tiny caps into the air ; while I 

Am met by frigid reverence, passive awe, 

That fears, yet dares not own itself for fear ; 

As though the public hangman stalked behind me. 

And this it is to reign — to gain men's hate. 

Thus for the future monarch, Fancy weaves 

A spotless robe, entwines his sceptre round 

With flow'ry garlands, places on his head 

A crown of laurels, while the weary present, 

Like a stale riddle or a last-year's fashion, 

Carries no grace with it. Base, vulgar world ! 

'Tis thus that men for ever live in hope, 

And he that has done nothing is held forth 

As capable of all things ; poor weak herd ! 

Heaven save me from the breath of their applause ! 



sen. A TRAGEDY. 11 

Enter Donna Leonora. 

PHILIP. 

Madam, good day. I have desired your presence 
On urgent matters : answer me, and quick, 
What is the general temper of the queen 
When with her women ? gay, or sad, or staid ? 
What her diversion ? does the prince's presence 
Make any change in her deportment ? 

LEONORA. 

Sire! 

PHILIP. 

I ask you how the queen receives our son. 

LEONORA. 

I know not well to answer. 

PHILIP. 

Yet my words 
Are plain and simple. 

LEONORA. 

Sire ! indeed — 



I must have truth. 



PHILIP. 

Reply a 



LEONORA. 

Then, sire, behold, the truth/ 
Her usual air appears as if she mocked 
The state she wears ; the jewels of the crown 
But shade her lustre ; all the royal pomp 
Makes her not proud, but sad : the dignity 
That doth befit Castile, she casts aside, 
As if it soiled her purity of heart : 



12 DON CARLOS, Ac 

But if Don Carlos in her presence stands, 

Then like a statue starting into life, 

Her cheeks blush deep with rosy streams ; her eyes 

Glow with unusual fires ; her arm, her hand, 

No longer move with languor : all her frame 

In animated gesture speaks the soul ; 

Though still her timid modesty of mind 

Tempers with grace the beauty of her mien. 

PHILIP. 

She welcomes him ? 

LEONORA. 

Yes, sire, such welcome gives 
As when upon the dark blank world the sun 
Pours forth his beams; when undistinguished space 
Grows rich with meaning ; hill, and lake, and plain 
Glitter in new-born light, and hail the day : — 
Stych is the queen, when to our quiet hours 
Don Carlos gives his leisure. 

PHILIP. 

It is well ; 
She should rejoice to see our royal son : 
Say, does he ever speak to her alone ? 

LEONORA. 

Nay, gracious sire, that were to my reproach. 
My office here is to attend the queen ; 
Never^ to leave her presence ; and to break 
That rnle, so long as I can hold my station, 
Were to betray my duty, soil my race. 
None ev\er yet, of countrymen, or friends, 
Or childish playmates of her infancy, 



sen. A TRAGEDY. 13 

Or near relations of your royal blood, 
Have ever spoken to the queen alone ; 
Nor have I missed a gesture or a word, 
Or failed, when reason was, to bear the tale 
Unto your majesty. 

PHILIP. 

'Tis well ; 'tis well : 
Say now — I would know more — I fain would know; — 
Not that these things which you have told to me, 
Excite a thought unworthy of the queen, 
Or can the least unhinge my steadfast love 
And anchored trust in her fidelity. — 
Far from us all suspicion ! but 'tis well 
That I, the king, should know the slightest sign, 
The breath of air, or creaking of a door, 
That passes in my court : — inform me then, 
Has it been known to you, the prince, our son, 
Used more familiar gesture to the queen 
Than does befit his duty — touched her hand ? 
Or — 

LEONORA. 

Never, gracious sire, have I beheld 
Aught but of reverence from our royal prince : 
With due and subject duty — 

PHILIP. 

Tell me, then, 
Have you observed the queen at any time 
Bestow a trinket on the prince ? or seen 
The prince make homage of a gift to her ? 
A chain — a riband — any bauble ? 



14 DON CARLOS, ACT I. 

LEONORA. 

Sire, 
Last month upon her birth-day, I remarked 
Don Carlos gave a necklace to the queen 
In worship of the day : 'twas rich, well wrought : 
But never have I seen the queen attired 
In that fair ornament : the prince received — 
'Twas likewise on his birth-day — from the queen 
A golden clasp to bind his cloak withal : 
It is the one he wears in daily use, 
And seems to cherish. 

PHILIP. 

Madam, it is well : 
Such gifts are but the bonds of courtesy, 
That add civility to kindred ties : 
(Aside) Yet like I not such tokens always worn. 
Love oftentimes that dares not lead his march 
Direct from heart to heart, by such bye-paths 
Conducts his enterprize ; and warm desires 
That would shrink back from looking on the life, 
Are yet excited by the fond caress 
Bestowed on senseless matter. — 
( To Leonora.) Leonore — 

Attend the queen with care, allow no hand, 
Of baser service, to usurp the place 
You hold in her near confidence : none else 
To furnish converse for her evening hours, 
Or gain her friendship by officious zeal 
Of waiting at her toilet — look to this. — 

LEONORA. 

My gracious sire, your will shall be my law. 



sc. II. A TRAGEDY. 15 

PHILIP. 

And mind your own communications : keep 
Within the limits of discretion : speak 
To none, your relative or dearest friend, 
Of that which passes in our palace : stay 
Your tongue upon the threshold of your speech : 
Weigh all your words : our palace is the state, 
Our home the Spanish empire : vulgar breath 
Must not pollute our councils ; least of all 
Should the base multitude presume to know 
Of our domestic ; be in all reserved, 
In this most secret. 

LEONORA. 

Sire, from infancy 
I learnt to reverence our royal house, 
And now by long experience I have known 
With how much awe the king should be obeyed. 

PHILIP. 

'Tis well — you may depart — yet stay a moment : 
If without forwardness you can lead on 
The queen to speak of Carlos, in those hours 
When the locked bosom opens, and the heart, 
Surcharged with feeling, overflows in speech, 
Which women and weak men cannot restrain, — 
You have my leave to speak and listen, but 
Tell what you learn to us alone : depart. 

{Exit Leonora. 

PHILIP. 

Uneasy, galling, painful, racking doubt ! 
I think I can perceive a something vague 



16 DON CARLOS, ACT I# 

And unsubstantial fasten on my fame, 

That like a damp and pestilential mist 

Dims the bright surface of my stainless honour — 

This Leonora too — that she should see, 

That she should know the king is jealous — no, 

Not jealous but disturbed for Spain. — Who's there ? 

Enter Officer. 

OFFICER. 

My liege, the Great Inquisitor, Valdez, 
Prays for^an audience. 

PHILIP. 

Admit him straight. 
Enter Valdez. 

PHILIP. 

Most holy father, let me pray your blessing. 

VALDEZ. 

The church prays heaven to bless her faithful son. 

[Gives him his benediction. 

PHILIP. 

And now, what business leads you to our presence ? 

VALDEZ. 

Alas, my king, unwelcome, heavy news 
I bring your majesty. 

PHILIP. 

I pray you speak. 
Our best attention shall be given you. 



SC. ii. A TRAGEDY. 17 

VALDEZ. 

Sire, 
The tale is of that kind the bearer fears 
To let escape too rudely, lest the blow 
May strike the hearer down : I do beseech 
Your majesty to arm yourself in steel, 
To brace your soul in mail of fortitude 

PHILIP. 

Good father, speak ; I am not weak of mind : 
Say, have I ruled in the two hemispheres 
For twenty years, and never met reverse ? 
Great as our victories, high as our name, 
Proud as our empire stands above the rest, 
Heaven has not yet forgotten to chastise, 
To save our soul from overweening pride ; 
But never were we so puft up with fame, 
As not to bear the rod with humbleness. — 
Remember you when our great armament 
Sailed from our shore to conquer and convert 
England, rebellious to its God ? 

VALDEZ. 

I do. 
A time of cruel memory; our ships 
Collected in our ports by years of toil, 
The mighty preparations of the realm, 
Our implements of battle, all the pomp 
Of naval war which vainly had been deemed 
Invincible, were scattered to the winds ; 
Our lofty expectations sunk for ever , 
And, worst of all, our bravest chivalry, 



18 DON CARLOS, aci 

The hopes of Christendom, the strength of Spain, 
Shrouded in waves or chained in English dungeons. 

PHILIP. 

Yet when this bitter draught, this killing potion 
Was all distilled into one dreadful word 
And poured at once into my ear — that word 
No less than Ruin, — showed I then, Valdez, 
A weakness unbecoming of a man, 
A christian, and a king ? 

VALDEZ. 

No — sovereign lord, 
I do remember well on that sad day 
When all Madrid was tears, and your whole people 
Seemed like a widowed queen : the messenger 
Came to your majesty when in the church, 
You still prayed heaven for good success : the tale 
Was dreadful, but your royal countenance 
Took not the print of woe ; your voice august 
Nor fell nor falter'd when, in brief reply, 
Calmly you said : "I did not send my troops 
To combat with the elements." Such proof 
Of pious resignation swift was known, 
And half the anguish of the wound was saved 
By iron constancy : for fortitude 
Rewards itself, and dries the stream of grief 
In its own source, the mind. 

PHILIP. 

In fortitude 
Our nation ever was pre-eminent : 
But most of all it doth become a king, 
To stand aloof from common sympathies ; 



SC. II. A TRAGEDY. 19 

We have a separate life ; the place we hold, 

We hold from heaven ; we should free ourselves 

From cumbrous trammels of humanity 

That bind men down to earth : we stand on high, 

As Muley Hassan *, that o'erlooks the plain 

Of fair Granada, or those mightier hills 

Our soldiers speak of, hiding half the sky 

Of Indian Peru, which view unchanged 

The change of seasons, while the vale below 

Shows all vicissitude : speak on. 

VALDEZ. 

My king 
I will proceed, though harsh and crude the tale. 
We are informed Don Carlos — 

PHILIP. 

What of him ? 

VALDEZ. 

I grieve to speak of aught that may affect 
The prince's honour ; but my duty bids 
To represent — 

PHILIP. 

Go on — 

VALDEZ. 

Men of proved worth, 
Whose lives give weight and value to their words, 
Have sworn to our tribunal that the prince, 
Don Carlos, gives an ear to heretics ; 
Pities their fate ; assists them when they fly 

* One of the peaks of the Sierra Nevada is so called. 
c 2 



20 DON CARLOS, A ( 

From lawful punishment ; holds conference 
With Berg and Montigny, the deputies, 
Who here within Madrid provoke the wrath 
Of heaven upon all Spain by laying wide 
Their nets for falling spirits ; all of this 
Your majesty's own son, the heir of Spain, 
Promotes and fosters ; yet on all of this 
Our sage tribunal would have cast a veil, 
And hiding from your eyes a son's defect 
By gentle remedies restored his mind 
To its right functions ; but of late — 

PHILIP. 

Well, well ! 

VALDEZ. 

It is affirmed the prince, with headlong haste, 
Prepares a journey to your Flemish states ; 
And there intends to comfort and assist 
The rebels to their king and to their God. 

PHILIP. 

What proof of this ? what witnesses ? what plan 
Of enterprize ? 'tis madness this — 

VALDEZ. 

Indeed 
It seems so; and I hope it may appear 
Our caution is deceived — although 'tis rare 
For us to harbour error ; — witnesses, 
Weighty and strong, attest the facts I tell : 
I come not with the tale of some base wretch, 
Pitching his quoit for vengeance or for gain, 
With eye close drawn upon his mark : these facts 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 21 

Have flowed from many sources ; pure clear springs 
Where nothing turbid dwells ; their names my oath 
Forbids me to reveal : the prince's plan 
We know not fully : that we hear at least, 
We fain would think a child of fantasy. 

PHILIP. 

Speak all you know ; I long to hear the worst. 

VALDEZ. 

Such airy stories of projected deeds 
Cannot affect my royal sovereign's peace : 
That which is grounded I have told — 

PHILIP. 

Speak on, — ■ 
Hold me not in suspense, — speak on, I say. 

VALDEZ. 

Then since your majesty can calmly bear 

To listen to these black unnatural rumours 

That shake the ground, and seem beneath our feet 

To herald earthquakes ; it is said and sworn 

By friends deep in his plans that Spain's young prince 

Means to leave here his devilish instruments 

To cut the remnant of his father's life ; 

And then, they say, Don Carlos will return 

To wed the queen — 

PHILIP. 

To wed the queen, thou sayst ! 
(Legions of curses light upon his head !) [Aside. 

To wed the queen ! a false informer's tale, 
Coined to mislead your exemplary zeal : 
c 3 



22 DON CARLOS, act 

For which we give you thanks : you have our thanks 

For all the love and wakeful vigilance 

You show in our behalf: but if 'tis false, 

As by my royal crown I deem it is, 

You go not free from blame ; and mark my words : 

There are some busy spirits in the world, 

Whose tempers in the natural food of life 

Lack aliment, as ships whose sails in calm 

Flap to and fro, and waste their action ; souls 

Whose order is disturbance ; they must find 

Or make a plot, and should they fail to raise 

The subject 'gainst the prince, they move the prince 

To vex the subject : black unnatural treasons 

Rise at their bidding : spirits, dark as hell, 

Foul murders, sacrilege, conspiracy 

Wait at their beck, and instant on their call 

People the earth with horrors : there are others, 

Chapmen of human life, whose trade is blood, 

Who like the vampire live and suck their breath 

From the stern scaffold, where their comrades' heads 

Lie bathed in gore — oh, think on this and doubt ! — 

But say the queen — what said you of the queen ? 

VALDKZ. 

Nothing my liege ; nothing has been deposed 
That may affect the queen. 

PHILIP. 

'Tis well, Valdez : 
For if there had, the villain should have died 
Who dared to aim his arrows at a star 
Pure as the heaven she's made for ; it is well. 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 23 

VALDEZ. 

But for the prince, sire. — 

PHILIP. 

For the prince, Valdez, 
I will myself take instant cognizance 
Whence the report has risen ; if there be 
In this grave charge ever so little truth, 
We need your counsel : but if some vile slave 
Has coined the calumny to gain our ear, 
The utmost rigour of the extremest rack 
Shall tear his limbs ; his joints shall agonize 
Quite to the verge of life ; he shall repay 
The torture that his barbarous treachery 
Already has inflicted upon me. {Exit. 

VALDEZ. 

Farewell 
Thou great example of serenity ! 
The hill whose top beholds without a change 
The change of season : thou, whose mind is free 
From cumbrous trammels of humanity ! 
These great men of the earth affect a wisdom 
Their closer life belies, sit wrapt in clouds 
Of mystery that cheat the distant eye, 
But cannot blunt the near observer's glance. 

Destroy their people ; steadfast as the oak, 

They bear the tempest : but if touched themselves, 
In their least joint, by a slight breath of air, 
They tremble like the reed — oh, magnanimity ! 
But stay ! here comes the queen ! in haste, — alarmed ! 
c 4 



24 DON CARLOS, A ( 

Enter- Queen and Donna Leonora Cordoba. 

QUEEN. 

Most holy father, tell me quick, I pray, 
Why is the king in anger with his son ? 

VALDEZ. 

Nay, madam, why imagine you — 

gUEEN. 

Just now 
He passed me with contracted, angry brow, 
And eye that rolled and threatened : never yet 
Saw I the king so moved : he passed me by, 
And calling loud a captain of his guard 
Bade him confine Don Carlos to his chamber. 

VALDEZ. 

Madam, this is indeed unwelcome news : 
To me as strange as to your majesty. 
I dare not guess the cause, but know full well 
The king acts not without — 

OUEEN. 

Father, alas ! 
You will not tell me, nor can I reproach 
The silence of a faithful counsellor. 
But I beseech you, since you have a voice 
In all deliberations of the state, 
That you will now attune and temper it, 
To soothe the rugged humour of the king. 
His anger rises, and 'tis perilous 
When wrath and power combine in one. 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 25 

VALDEZ. 

Indeed 
I would — 

QUEEN. 

Say not indeed, say not you would ; 
But be and act the minister of peace. 

VALDEZ. 

Madam, I know not how the prince provokes 
The king's displeasure. 

QUEEN. 

Nay, he is not guilty, 
Cannot be guilty of a grave offence 
Against his honoured father and his king. 
He is too kind, too warm of heart, too just 
For crime ; nor can his clear transparent breast 
E'er harbour treachery : but attributes 
That most ennoble men to kindred hearts, 
Open an easy passage to the base 
To work their devilish ends. Carlos is hot, 
Sudden in anger, eager in discourse ; 
His feelings come all struggling to his lips 
Unmarshalled by the wand of Prudence ; hence 
His enemies catch up a wayward phrase 
Or thoughtless word, and dress it in a shape 
That makes it monstrous : such an enemy, 
I doubt it not, has now informed the king 
Against his loyalty. 

VALDEZ. 

I trust 'tis so — 
To undeceive the king were then a task 
Easy as 'twere delightful : but the affair 



26 DON CARLOS, act 1. sen. 

Is delicate ; you know our sovereign's will 
Bears not with busy meddlers : king and prince 
Stand in such close relation, 'twere not safe 
To thrust a stranger's hand between the joints : 
These obvious arguments arrest my steps, 
Lest in my eager zeal to serve the prince, 
I but obstruct his cause ; you, madam, stand 
In other circumstance ; a prayer from you 
Were graceful, not obtrusive ; yours the right 
To show a mother's interest for the prince 
Without the weakness that to sterner breasts 
Lessens the value of a mother's plea. 

QUEEN. 

Since you advise me thus, I fly to use 
Such poor persuasion as my baffled thoughts 
Can well collect. 

VALDEZ. 

May Heaven bless your zeal ! 
[Exeunt Queen and Donna Leonora. 

VALDEZ. 

Such intercession opportunely comes, 

Minist'ring fuel to the fire of rage 

Which else might soon burn out : the prince's tongue, 

With frankness oft more strong than eloquence, 

Reaches the listener's heart, and sways the mind 

By throwing down its guards : suspicion's self 

Dares to suspect no more : 'twere dangerous 

For Philip and his son to meet : I go 

To lay new mines that underneath their feet 

Shall spread unseen, and unexpected burst. 

[Exit. 



act ii. sc. I. A TRAGEDY. 27 



ACT II. 

SCENE I. — Apartment of Don Carlos. 

DON CARLOS. 

1 oo cruel fortune ! was it then in sport 

You smiled upon my dawn of enterprise, 

To drive me back when with my swelling sails 

I touched the port ? Unhappy prince of Spain ! 

I must not rule — to rule means to destroy — 

To persecute — away such rule from me ! 

I must not love — that soft and gentle mood 

To me implies things horrible of thought. 

And now I must not fly : condemned to live, 

And stand a mark for fortune's archery. 

Yet come what will, my breast shall be prepared 

To suffer all things ; let me banish hope 

And think the worst. A mortal frame can bear 

But some few hours of anguish, and the life 

Escapes to freedom ; 'tis comparison 

With thoughts of past, or dreams of future bliss, 

That gives to misery its point and venom — 

My Cordoba ! 

Enter Cordoba. 

CORDOBA. 

My prince I what mean these sentinels 
That guard your door ? 



28 DON CARLOS, ACT 

CARLOS. 

I know no more than this, 
The king has so commanded ; 'tis not long — 
But a few minutes, since the officer 
Who keeps the guard here in the palace came 
In haste to make me prisoner ; he said 
The king with his own voice gave out the order. 

CORDOBA. 

'Tis strange ! no cause assigned ; so suddenly ; 
What are your plans ? how think you to defeat 
This unforeseen arrest? 

CARLOS. 

I have no plan. 

CORDOBA. 

Such a reply but ill becomes a prince. 

CARLOS. 

My faculties but ill become a prince. 

Our mother Nature with a strange caprice 

Fits us for other parts than those we play : 

A priestly robe covers the brawny limbs 

And lion-heart that should have been a soldier's ; 

While many a delicate fibre that seems formed 

To be for ever wrapt in silken bonds 

Is torn by peasant toil, or wastes itself 

Beneath the scorching Phoebus, or night-storm, 

In guarding camps : I, even I, was framed 

To wander idly all the day in woods, 

To gather flowers, to feed on the wild grape, 

To drink the natural spring, to list to birds, 



sc. I. A TRAGEDY. 29 

And find my joy in breathing balmy air — 
I was not made for sovereignty. 

CORDOBA. 

Yet still 
You think of public weal, and even now 
You were embarking in a public cause : 
Had you preferred an idle shepherd's life, 
Methinks Don Philip would have spared his guards. 

CARLOS. 

See you, Don Luis, no distinction then 
Between a choice of lot, and bearing ill 
What is already chosen ? I stand here, 
Prince of Asturias, the heir of Spain : 
To leave the mighty interests of mankind 
To follow nightingales, would be in me 
Consummate baseness, treason to my state, 
Cruel injustice to collected millions, 
The people of two hemispheres, who own 
The Spanish rule, and on some future day, 
Which Heaven long avert ! will take their hue 
Of joy or sorrow from my smile or frown. 
O'erwhelming thought ! would it were otherwise. 

CORDOBA. 

Nay, say not so. 

CARLOS. 

I mean it, Cordoba ; 
The impending weight oppresses me ; I fain 
Would throw it off, but Heaven stands betwixt, 
And with unchanging voice bids me assume 
The appointed burden. Thus I stand prepared : 



30 DON CARLOS, ACT 

But when without control of mine, a light 
Points out a way by which I may escape, 
Although the door be death, I feel the joy 
Of a freed galley-slave, who bursts his chains, 
And kisses his dear native land once more. 

CORDOBA. 

Yet there is more in this — Don Carlos — Prince — 
Your grief, 'tis clear, has deeper causes. 

CARLOS. 

Hold! 

CORDOBA. 

Nay, let me speak, a follower and a friend, 
Most loving, ready to lay down my life 
In your behalf; I do adjure you, say, 
Is there not some disease upon your heart, 
That grows and festers there ? 

CARLOS. 

Alas, my friend ! 

CORDOBA. 

If I have any skill in marks of passion, 
You have a secret love. 

CARLOS. 

Ah ! speak it not. 

CORDOBA. 

Yet why diis shudder ? Love is a bright flame 
That consecrates the altar where it falls, 
And vivifies our clay. 

CARLOS. 

Alas, not mine ! 



SCI. A TRAGEDY. 31 

CORDOBA. 

'Tis strange this passion — who then can — 

CARLOS. 

Oh, spare ! 

CORDOBA. 

Nay, give your feelings vent. 

CARLOS. 

Oh agony ! 
If thou couldst feel the pangs that rack my heart, 
The inward struggles and the vain resolves, 
The contests oft renewed, that seem to give 
A victory to virtue, but exhaust 
My feeble being ; then the demon comes, 
And seizes on my weakness unopposed. — 
Again a wild and horrible remorse 
Provokes me to fresh effort, and again 
I combat, conquer, tremble, suffer, sink. 
Oh ! had the idol of my heart been scornful, 
Rejected all my prayers, spurned at my love, 
And met my adoration with contempt, 
I could have borne it ; then indeed, methinks, 
The simple recollection of her form, 
The faintest image of a smile gone by, 
The feeling of a moment, fled away, 
And fled for ever, were to me a feast 
That India could not buy — my life — my all. — 
But viewing her perfections with my eyes, 

To be obliged to chase her from my thought 

To view myself with loathing — the rank soil 



32 DON CARLOS, ACT ii. 

In which a poison grows ! — no — I'll no more — 

The very speaking it is horrible. 

These dreadful images I hoped to quell 

By flying far from Spain ; — in other lands 

I might have rested in calm misery, 

My farthest hope, what other mortals fear, 

A disappointed, withered love. 

CORDOBA. 

But say 
What object thus has — 

CARLOS. 

Villain — speak it not — 
I have betrayed myself; my present trouble 
Has made a fracture in my mind ; its thoughts 
Flow out unchecked ; but heed them not, Don Luis : 
I did but rave — and yet, my friend, believe 
My heart is innocent : my pliant youth 
Was taught as duty what is now my crime : 
I saw her, was betrothed to her, and — 

CORDOBA. 

Hush ! 

Enter King Philip. 

philip. (waving his hand to Cordoba.) 
Retire. [Exit Cordoba. 

PHILIP. 

Don Carlos, 'tis with heavy grief 



The safety of the state has forced me thus 



sc. i. A TRAGEDY. 33 

To place a guard upon your sacred person : 
Your highness has been charged with crimes — 

CARLOS. 

Who dares 
Impeach my honour ? who — 

PHILIP. 

Softly, my son — 
I came not to accuse ; yet were I not 
Your father, did I not behold in you 
Myself renewed, I might have stood aloof, 
And bid blind Justice do her office : now 
I come with friendly and paternal care 
To heal, not punish : listen to my words. 
It may be that my royal power and state 
Have waked aspiring thoughts within your breast, 
And like a gallant courser seeing the speed 
At which his fellow flies, you chafe and fret, 
In dull inaction curbed. 

CARLOS. 

By Heaven, not so. 

PHILIP. 

Nay, interrupt me not. If it be thus, 
111 do you know the spectral forms that wait 
Upon a king ; Care with his furrowed brow, 
Unsleeping Watchfulness, lone Secrecy, 
Attend his throne by day, his couch by night : 
He stands the guardian of a beacon tower ; 
If storms arise, they rage around his head ; 
If lightnings fall, they strike upon his roof; 



34 DON CARLOS, AC 

And in the gladness of a summer day, 
As in the tempest of a winter night, 
He walks apart, companionless, to watch 
If 'gainst the common-weal a foe appear, 
And call the world to arms. 

CARLOS. 

Oh ! far from me 
Is lust of that sad power : I hate it all. 

PHILIP. 

If truly, 'tis with reason ; our vain pomp 
Gives but a hollow joy and lasting grief; 
'Tis for our subjects' honour not for ours. 
The garlands and the gold that deck the bull, 
Denote the sacrificing people's pride, 
And not the victim's fortune. 

CARLOS. 

I know not 
What means your majesty. 

PHILIP. 

Listen, Don Carlos ! 
Your honoured grandsire, when a manly beard 
Scarce plumed his cheek, rose to a height of power 
Such as the world for ages had not seen ; 
Castile and Arragon, long separate, 
Became compact beneath his happy sway ; 
Granada, late a strength of infidels, 
Lay bowed beneath his yoke ; in Germany 
The imperial crown was placed upon his head, 
While to his empty treasury a new world 



sc. f. A TRAGEDY. 35 

Across the ocean wafted tides of gold, 
Won by the valour of his officers, 
Who in their conquests were as mighty kings, 
And in fidelity obedient subjects. 
America for him unlocked her mines ; 
Asia for him produced her balmy spice ; 
Africa saw, and trembled at his arms ; 
Europe was one vast echo to his fame : — 
Yet he, thus glorious, when his term of years 
Betokened wisdom, (far from doting age, 
When sense grows torpid,) saturate of power, 
Aspired to private life, and humble rest. 
So now do I : fatigued with slavery, 
Miscalled command, I purpose to resign 
My kingdom to your hands, reserving only 
The isle of Sicily, where with my queen 
I may conclude in peace a stormy life. 

CARLOS. 

Nay, king, my father, speak not so, I pray. 

I feel my heart so full, 1 cannot utter 

The thoughts which crowd my mind — I have not been, 

Nor ever will, a traitor — am not fit 

To fill the throne though it were vacant : now, 

'Tis filled most worthily — none ever grasped 

The sceptre with such majesty, or made 

Obedience seem so due, so natural, 

As my most honoured king and dearest father. 

PHILIP. 

You do not wish to take it from me then ? 
d 2 



36 DON CARLOS, ACT ir. 

CARLOS. 

Not I, by Heaven ; here upon my knees 
I pray for your long reign. 

PHILIP. 

He is sincere : 
This stratagem does well. [Aside. 

CARLOS. 

I cannot speak 
All that I should ; how little I deserve 
So kind, so good a father ! thanks ! and thanks ! 

PHILIP. 

He is too warm for guilt, and yet, methinks, 

Too grateful for a perfect innocence. [Aside. 

Thou art deserving of my love, my wish 

Is to meet yours, speak then if there is aught 

Thou hast desired and feared to ask. 

CARLOS. 

My heart 
Will break with so much kindness : father, king, 
Here I confess my fault — nay, do not start 
As if I were a villain ; never thought 
Of harm to thee or to thy crown has found 
Admission in my breast. 

PHILIP. 

How then ? what fault ? 
What strange offence? -— 

CARLOS. 

The tale is long to tell, 
But, with your pleasure, my whole mind and soul, 
As it affects your state, shall be unrolled. 



sc. I. A TRAGEDY. 37 

PHILIP. 

Give me your utmost confidence — proceed ! 

CARLOS. 

I do remember well — too well, alas, 

My age but scarce fourteen, your royal self 

Absent in Flanders, I was bid preside 

At the great Act of Faith to be performed 

In fair Valladolid : at that green age, 

Quite new to life, nor yet aware of death, 

The solemn pomp amused my careless mind. 

But when the dismal tragedy began, 

How were my feelings changed and clouded ! first 

Came there a skeleton, upon its head 

A cap with painted flames ; this thing had been 

A lady who throughout her life had borne 

A name unsullied ; twenty years had past 

Since her remains had rested in the ground, 

And now by sentence of the Holy Office, 

The dull disgusting mass of whitened bone 

That once had been her garment, was dug up 

To clear some flaw in her theology. 

Then came a learned priest, his name Cazalla ; 

With countenance serene, and calm devotion, 

He walked to death, and as he passed me by, 

With earnest manner he entreated me 

For his poor sister's offspring ; she condemned 

To prison for her life, and loss of goods, 

While twelve unhappy children were bereft 

Of parents and of food ; I wept, and thought 

Of the poor orphans. 

d 3 



38 DON CARLOS, act i 

PHILIP. 

You should have rejoiced 
To think so many infant souls were saved 
Perversion. 

CARLOS. 

How ! rejoice ! not to have wept 
Were then impossible ; I sobbed for pity. 
But soon a sterner sight braced up my nerves, 
Rigid with horror, for the murderous pile 
Was lighted for the sacrifice : unmoved, 
The Great Inquisitor beheld his victims. 
Cazalla too was undisturbed : the mind 
Might fairly doubt which of the two were judge, 
And which the culprit, save that gleams of joy 
Like one who sees his haven, spread their light 
Upon Cazalla's face. The flames burst forth, 
And with slow torture singed the limbs of him, 
Who seemed alone amid the multitude 
To be unconscious of this earthly hell. 
But as we looked amazed, sudden he rushed 
From forth the flames, and while by-standers fled 
In sudden panic, bore from off a heap 
Fresh store of wood, upbraiding the weak wretch 
Who stood beside it ; this he flung amain 
Upon the pile, and raising high his voice 
Exclaimed " Farewell ! thou sinful world, farewell ! 
Ye — earth, and sun, and moon, and stars, farewell ! 
Welcome my God ! welcome eternal life !" 



A TRAGEDY. 39 



PHILIP. 

Blasphemous error ! — could this heretic 
Have hope of heaven ? 

CARLOS. 



Perhaps mistaken. 
Perhaps mistaken ? 



Such was his belief; 

PHILIP. 

Prince, did I hear you right ? 



CARLOS. 

Patience a little while ; 
You shall know all my thoughts. Cazalla, he 
That stood so tall before me in the strength 
Of a high soul, was now a cinder, tost 
And scattered by the air : but there was more 
Of this too dreadful pageant ; I beheld 
Fourteen of our poor brethren suffer death 
From Cain's descendants. 

PHILIP. 

Peace, prince ! 

CARLOS. 

I have done 
My narrative, but that I should have told 
That ere the hecatomb began, Valdez, 
As Great Inquisitor, tendered an oath 
Which I unwilling took : I thereby swore 
If ever I should see, or hear, or know 
By any means, of aught concerned the faith, 
Of friend or stranger, parent, brother, son, 
d 4 



40 DON CARLOS, 

I should reveal the same without delay 
Unto the holy office ; that dark oath 
I took, but thanks to heaven, I broke. 



You broke ! 

CARLOS. 

More than a thousand times : the horrid glare 
Of that dread sacrifice fell on my mind 
And drove the senses from my brain ; my thought 
Hung on the place where virtue had been slain, 
Where I had been a chief of murderers. 
Long while I suffered ; still by day and night 
The features of Cazalla, old and grey, 
With mildness mingling somewhat of reproach, 
Haunted my couch, nor could I gain relief 
Till I sought out the wretched seats of those 
Who err in faith and feel themselves impelled 
To seek for heaven by martyrdom on earth. 

PHILIP. 

You sought them out ! you should have hated them. 

CARLOS. 

Many of these I have assisted, bade 
Them fly this perilous air of Spain, conversed 
With several of their leaders, viewed their lives, 
Pure as the light ; their faith still steadfast worshipped 
Christ and the book of life. Forgive me, father, 
I could not, can not, will not hate these men. 

PHILIP. 

You hate them not — you, prince of Spain ! 



sc. I. A TRAGEDY. 41 

CARLOS. 

Alas! 
I know how scruples of this hue offend 
The eyes of Spanish rulers ; I have weighed 
Each separate argument, conned one by one 
The reasons that our church puts forth to spur 
Her sons to persecution. 

PHILIP. 

Call it not 
By that unworthy name, nor is it fit 
A child like you should mount the judgment-seat 
To censure policy which Spain has deemed 
The way of health, by sages pointed out 
To Ferdinand the Catholic — approved 
By counsellors grown grey in the state's service, 
By saints and martyrs of our holy church, 
By the pope's wise decree infallible, 
In fine by God himself. 

CARLOS. 

That I deny. 

PHILIP. 

Don Carlos, hold your peace. 

CARLOS. 

King, 1 have drunk 
The stream of revelation at its source : 
That book, to common eyes denied, to me, 
By Osma's reverend bishop, my preceptor, 
Was early given ; best and dearest gift 
That man can give to man, becoming thus 



42 DON CARLOS, ACT n . 

The minister of God, and angel-like 

Carrying glad tidings to the immortal soul : 

There have I read, assisted by the lore 

Of my dear master; there too have I read 

Alone and unassisted, late at night, 

And early in the morning, words of peace, 

Forgiveness ev'n for sin; brotherly love, 

And charity that beareth, hopeth all. 

I found and wept with joy ; but to this hour 

Find I no precept that commissions man 

To slay his erring brother. 

PHILIP. 

Prince, beware 
Dread my displeasure. 

CARLOS. 

I dread heaven's much more ; 
And strongly armed with truth, I dare proclaim 
The inquisition murderous tyrant. 

PHILIP. 

Peace, 
Thou bold blasphemer ! most unworthy thou 
To fill the throne, or even to tread the soil 
Of christian Spain. 

CARLOS. 

Of persecuting priests ! 
I know my own unfitness, every act 
Of rigour draws fresh tears into my eyes, 
And therefore purposed I to fly from Spain 
To seek in Flanders a secure retreat, 



sc. i. A TRAGEDY. 43 

And there lie hidden ; willing to forego 

The mighty sceptre of imperial Spain, 

My bright inheritance, unless repentant 

The Spanish people should one day admit 

Their king might reign unstained with righteous blood. 

PHILIP. 

What rebel purpose is it you disclose ? 

CARLOS. 

No rebel purpose, sire ; for whilst you live 
No son to father, subject to his king, 
Should pass me in obedience. 

PHILIP. 

Tell me then 
What think you of our war in Flanders ? say, 
Shall not the traitor suffer for his treason ? 
Is't not legitimate to take up arms 
That rebel heretics may be subdued ? 

CARLOS. 

Yet kindness were more politic than force : 
Grant them their privilege, your royal grace 
To worship God in their own simple form, 
Rebellion's hydra head will straight be crushed, 
Or of itself fall off. 

PHILIP. 

I'll hear no more : 
Prince, look not for indulgence : duty, nay, 
Affection bids that I should be severe ; 
And I will be so. [Exit. 



44 DON CARLOS, ACT K< 

CARLOS. (SOIUS.) 

Welcome then severe 
But unjust fate ! — How now ! Osorio here ! 
My good, my faithful friend ! 

Enter Osorio. 

OSORIO. 

Your faithful servant 
I have obeyed your highness's commands, 
And at this instant reach Madrid. 

CARLOS. 

All thanks ! 
Yet in your absence Envy's cruel blight 
Has spoilt our harvest. But speak on. What news ? 

OSORIO. 

Following your orders, when I parted hence, 
I straight repaired to Burgos ; there I saw 
The count of Salvatierra. 

CARLOS. 

What said he? 

OSORIO. 

He thanked your highness for your kind remembrance ; 
Felt for your trouble, but the present time 
Found him quite unprovided with the sums 
You wanted for your expedition. 

CARLOS. 

So — 



SC. I. A TRAGEDY. 45 

OSORIO. 

I next sought Infantado ; he too joined 
In many loving speeches ; but he feared 
He was too closely watched to dare give proof 
Of his unbated friendship. 

CARLOS. 

Friends of sunshine ! 
And Fuentes, and Toledo, and the count 
Of Benevente. 

OSORIO. 

All, not excepting one 
Have sent excuses : here, in a little book 
I have their several reasons in set terms. 

CARLOS. 

Spare me the mockery. And so from all 
My train of friends, all full of homage too, 
All wishing to be served, but loath to serve, 
You have not drawn one small maravedi ? 

OSORIO. 

'Tis so, indeed ; yet think not, gracious prince, 
I come back empty. 

CARLOS. 

What, Saavedra, then ! 

OSORIO. 

Nor Saavedra, no, nor any other 
Of your proud lofty friends, the dons of Spain, 
Have rilled my purse ; but a conforming Jew 
With whom I lodged at Seville, knowing me 
Your servant, offered, nay entreated, prayed, 
That I would borrow twenty thousand dollars, 



46 DON CARLOS, ACT n . 

To buy you laces ; begging me withal 

That when your highness should put on your crown, 

He might have some indulgence granted him, 

And leave to say his prayers on Saturdays. 

At first I played the prude, and feigned some rage 

He should so hurt your dignity ; but soon 

The coin with amorous chinking won my ear, 

And I was fain to be persuaded. 

CARLOS. 

Well: 1 
You make me smile in spite of fate. 

OSORIO. 

There's more — 
Ounces, gold ounces, that with hook and line 
I fished from merchants' pockets ; but of this 
Hereafter : the time presses, and I haste 
To tell what I have heard a moment gone, 
From a familiar of the holy office, 
Busied in preparations, that he deems 
Threaten a lofty head. 

CARLOS. 

How ? is it so ? 
Enter with me, Osorio ; we will speak 
Of these same tidings in my inner chamber. 

[Exeunt. 



SC. II. A TRAGEDY. 47 

SCENE II. 

Another Room, Enter Queen and Leonora. 

queen. 
Come, Leonora. 

LEONORA. 

Madam, I am here, 
But know not where you go, or what you seek : 
The king will pass this way. 

queen. 

'Tis well ; he comes. 

Entei- Philip. 

PHILIP* 

Madam, I marvel what kind star has led 

Your steps this way, to brighten with your presence 

Our dull abode. 

QUEEN. 

Sire, I have ventured here, 
To move your majesty on an affair 
Of urgent moment. 

philip. (to Leonora.) 

Leave us, then, madam. 

{Exit Leonora. 

PHILIP. 

I am your listener. 

queen. 
Sire, alas ! my tongue 
Is but a feeble organ to express 



48 DON CARLOS, act II. 

That which a heart less simple would array 
In robes of eloquence. I am no orator ; 
But if I were, with what persuasive tones, 
With what resistless reason would I seek 
Your mercy, if your mercy he requires, 
In favour of Don Carlos. 

PHILIP. 

Is it so ? [Aside. 

Madam, you show your charity in this ; 
A female heart we know is soft and kind : 
And yet, methinks, a step-mother might leave 
The prince's pardon to his father's love ! 

gUEEN. 

Nay, look not sternly on my prayer; I speak 
Because I am a step-mother, and thus 
No soil of interest or partial hue 
Can colour my abatement of his fault. 

PHILIP. 

Madam, you speak it well : but this affair 
Concerns the state, whose fabric I must guard 
As sentinel ; no bribe, no weak affection, 
No woman's tear must draw me from the post 
Where God has placed me for my people's good. 
Speak then, if you have aught on his behalf, 
In the calm key of reason ; though indeed 
I cannot well perceive whence you should draw 
Your knowledge, or your argument. 

QUEEN. 

I own 
If it be requisite to sound the depths 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 49 

Of law, or policy, none more unfit 
Than she who stands before you to devise 
Strains of state reasoning ; and yet I feel, 
I think Don Carlos innocent. 

PHILIP. 

Indeed ! 
You think him innocent ; nay then, I wait 
To hear your argument. 

QUEEN. 

Alas, my lord ! 
You strike me cold with apprehension, yet — 
{Aside.) Courage my- heart ! {aloud) Sire, of the prince 

I speak, 
As I have seen him, easily inflamed, 
And catching fire in every generous cause ; 
Suffering with every sufferer ; sharing loss 
With every loser in the game of life ; 
A soul ennobled by companionship 
With lofty thoughts, and mighty purposes ; 
Hating all wrong, and scourging with a rod 
Of scorn contemptuous the sloth of vice; 
Yet with proud bearing throwing back the praise, 
Our courtiers trade in for their private gain. 
This sternness makes him enemies, but still 
His heart is to his duty rivetted ; 
Nor lives there of your subject millions, one 
Whom malice with more rancour would accuse, 
Or virtue with more confidence defend. 

PHILIP. 

Madam, the arguments you urge, shall pass 

E 



50 DON CARLOS, act it. 

Into the balance of impartial justice, 
And tell for what they weigh : but hear my words, 
Elizabeth of France ; the poorest, worst, 
Most wretched hovel in the realm of Spain, 
Hides not a crime that trenches on our state ; 
For we have eyes that search the land, and mark 
The guilty spot ; then cherish not the thought 
That our own palace can in secret corners 
Engender plots we see not ; all, yes all, 
We know them all. 

gUEEN. 

Unquestioned, sire, by me 
Your wisdom or your power. 

PHILIP. 

Not one whit less 
Our justice, queen — 

QUEEN. 

I doubt it not, and pray 
To heaven to bless your councils. 

PHILIP. 

Learn ye then 
In silence to respect them ; one word more ; 
Remember, lady, you are Caesar's wife — 

[She beckons to speak. 
We fain would be alone — farewell — farewell. 

{Exit Queen. 

PHILIP. 

How do a thousand furies tear my breast, 
And strive for mastery ! — am I Philip still ? 
I that have stood so eminent, the king, 



sen. A TRAGEDY. 51 

The only king of Europe who enjoyed 
That which a king should have — unfettered power, 
Unlimited discretion : — have I toiled 
For fame of subtle wisdom, blanched the cheeks 
Of infidels and heretics, the enemy 
Of all God's enemies, now to become 
The sport of my own child, seeing my work 
Destroyed by baby hands ; my very queen 
Transfer her pledged affections to my boy, 
And come herself unconsciously to tell 
The maddening tale to me ! how sharp a jest 
For Turkish slaves and English mobs were I 
If they could say : " He vexed the world with arms 
To put down heresy ; guarded his states 
With triple barriers to preserve them pure 
From all contagion, but he warmed the while 
A viper in his bosom, his own son, 
Who wrenched the royal sceptre from his hand 
And bore away his consort from his side ! 
Thus has he lost the gorgeous heritage 
Wise Ferdinand, and mighty Charles acquired !" 
Now could I plunge my dagger in thy breast -*- 
And have revenge — my own — my sole — last hope — 
'Twere just — 'twere memorable vengeance — yet 
Such deeds become not Philip — Spain, the world 
Would stamp the deed with execration — still 
Revenge I must and will obtain : Valdez, 
And his dark troop shall be my instruments ; 
They shall pursue my purpose as their own ; 
Thus wise men plan what busy men perform ! \JExit. 
e 2 



52 DON CARLOS, ACT IIT 

ACT III. 

SCENE I. — An Apartment in the Palace. 
Enter Queen, Leonora, and another Lady. i 

QUEEN. 

Say, Leonora, have you made inquiry, 
As I desired, touching the prince ? 

LEONORA. 

I have : 
A veil of secrecy conceals Don Carlos 
From common eyes ; but by a faithful friend, 
I learn that even now the prince has pass'd 
By subterranean paths into the palace 
Of the inquisition. 

QUEEN. 

The inquisition ! ah — 
What dangers menace him ? what cruel fate 
Hangs over him ? what may betide the prince ? 
What augurest thou ? think'st thou he shall escape ? 
How calm thou art ! how tranquilly thou look'st ! 
Art thou not moved ? 

LEONORA. 

Madam, it is my duty 
To give my pity to the prince, but keep 
My reverence for his father. 



sc r. A TRAGEDY. 53 

QUEEN. 

Duty say'st thou ? 
And when a gallant life, by envious fate, 
May in a moment have its thread divided, 
Is duty quite sufficient ? 

LEONORA. 

Gracious queen, 
Is it quite safe to feel more than our duty ? 

QUEEN. 

Well — any way you please — yet even duty 
Bids us feel sympathy for Carlos. 

LEONORA. 

Aye, 

But with propriety. 

QUEEN. 

Thou mak'st me wild 
With these strange speeches : my good Leonora, 
My mind is troubled with this news, do thou 
Who art so calm, suggest some means, some hopes 
Of safety for the prince. 

LEONORA. 

With your leave, madam, 
I'll hasten to the inquisition ; some 
Of those who serve the court are of my friends, 
And if good fortune should throw one of these 
Across my path, I then may learn some tidings 
To bear your majesty ; although indeed 
'Tis death to tell or to convey a tale 
Touching the prisoners of the holy office : 
e 3 



54- DON CARLOS, act hi. 

These dangers I will brave ; I may seem cold, 
But I am faithful. — 

QUEEN. 

Nay, I doubt it not ; 
Thanks, kindest Leonora ; haste, away, 
And execute thy honest purposes. [Exit Leonora. 

Poor Carlos ! brave and gentle-hearted prince, 
How little equal is thy generous mind 
To strive with subtle malice — ha ! 'tis well — 
(To the Lady.) Go, Donna Beatrix, to the lower court, 
Where Osma's holy bishop dwells, desire 
That he attend me straight, without delay, 
In my own cabinet — haste, Beatrix. 

[Exeunt different ways. 



SCENE II. 



Valdez, Lucero, and three other Inquisitors discovered 
sitting in the Hall of the Inquisition. Officers at- 
tending. 

VALDEZ. 

Is all prepared ? (the rest bow) bring in the prince, Don 
Carlos. [Exeunt Officers* 

Lucero, sit near me f I need your counsel. 
Most holy fathers, pray for our good issue ; 
The fate of Spain hangs upon our resolve ; 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 55 

Her palace and her altars that seem fixed 

So deeply and so cunningly ; her peace, 

Her glory, nay the holy church herself, 

Shaken in Germany, assailed in France, 

In England rent and ruined, this day stands 

In peril of a total overthrow 

In this her chosen land of refuge : — Nay, 

Start not alarmed, but nerve your hearts, good fathers, 

For if they sink this day, religion sinks ; 

If they are firm, hell shall not ope its gates 

To unborn millions that were else its prey. 

LUCERO. 

Proceed, most holy father, at your voice 
We are ourselves, and follow to the fight. 

VALDEZ. 

Will you cast off all shrinking compromise 

Of worldly hopes, with heavenly ordinance ? 

All mean respects, all ancient prejudice, 

All timid sensibility, and serve 

The great, eternal, universal cause 

To which your souls are pledged ? are ye resolved ? 

ALL. 

We are. 

VALDEZ. 

Then I accept the glorious mission, 
And here, on this exposed pre-eminence, 
I brave all chances, risk my certain fortune, 
Station, regard of safety, freedom, life, 
All that I am and may be, to devote 
Body and mind to peril, pain, and duty. 
e 4 



56 DON CARLOS, 



LUCERO. 

Such likewise our resolve. 

SECOND INQUISITOR. 

Doubt not our zeal. 
Enter Don Carlos guarded. 

VALDEZ. 

You are the prince. 

CARLOS. 

You know me. 



Speak, Lucero. 



LUCERO. 

Don Carlos, prince of the Asturias, 
Knight of the orders of Alcantara 
And Calatrava, you are summoned here 
By the great council and supreme tribunal 
Of inquisition into faith : through me 
They solemnly adjure you to declare 
If you have seen, or heard, any act or speech 
That was, or seemed injurious to the faith, 
Or privileges of this holy office ? 

(No answer.) 
Don Carlos, prince of the Asturias, 
The inquisition bids you to declare, 
If you have seen, or heard, any act or speech 
That was, or seemed injurious to the faith, 
Or privileges of this holy office ? 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 57 

VALDEZ. 

The prince replies not. Let your highness pause 

And give a moment's thought before you thus 

Contemn the sacred council, when again 

I shall interrogate : know then that thus 

Commences every process in our court, 

Which in its mercy swerves from rules of law 

And does not hold its prisoners accused 

Till they themselves are heard : if they relate 

All that they know with candour, it may be 

That farther process stops ; but if elate 

In carnal pride they scorn our graciousness, 

We have the means that can extort the truth 

From rebel lips : excuse me, mighty prince, 

If in the terms I use I more respect 

Your interests than your titles : once again 

We solemnly adjure you to disclose 

If you have seen, or heard, any act or speech 

That was or seemed injurious to the faith, 

Or to this Holy Inquisition's rights ? 

CARLOS. 

I do not thank you for your courtesy, 

I do not fear you for your threats, Valdez ; 

And for the matter of your question, I 

Will question you again — is it from mercy 

You seek to worm from those your power confines 

Secrets by which their thread of life depends ? 

Do you entrap your fellow-men like foxes 



58 DON CARLOS, ACT m . 

And kill them unawares ? why question else 
Him you accuse ? I will not answer you. 

VALDEZ. 

Be it so — if in our ministerial acts 
We meet reproach, my brethren, we must bear 
All for the sake of heaven. — On, on ! Lucero ! 
Against our will we must become accusers ; 
Read our proceedings. 

lucero. (reading.) 

" The supreme tribunal 
Having received from various sources, hints 
That implicate^," — 

CARLOS. 

" From various sources — hints" — 
Whence came these hints ? who was the man that dared 
Assail my good name thus ? 

VALDEZ. 

We sit not, prince, 
To answer questions ; but to seek the truth, 
For purposes of fair and equal justice. 
Yet, if the court permit, I will apprise you 
These informations were anonymous. 

CARLOS. 

Just, true, and equal judges ! it is thus 

You have depressed all worth and honesty 

To crown mean hatreds, coward calumny, 

And base revenge ; these raise their serpent heads, 

And make a Lybian desert of the land. 



sc. it. A TRAGEDY. 59 

VALDEZ. 

Your wit somewhat outstrips your judgment, prince. 
One instant more of patience, (though indeed 
Your rank contemns that virtue of the poor,) 
You would have heard that these suggestions led 
To other perquisitions. Had this court 
On better inquest found your highness clear, 
Your fame had never been impeached : these walls 
Transmit no sound to the external world. — 
Unhappily — but you shall hear. — Read on. 

CARLOS. 

I am your victim — I care not to hear 

How you may gloss your purpose. — Read the sentence. 

VALDEZ. 

Again I must entreat your patience : — prince, 

You wrong our court : you have too well imbibed 

The falsehoods that the infidel contrives 

To blast our fame : but since you wish us brief; — 

You have to learn then that by good report 

Of faithful christian persons, certain acts 

And words were testified against you ; these 

Referred to the high court of qualifiers, 

Have been pronounced by them heretical, 

Depraved, and dangerous : now, if you will, 

Lucero shall declare to you the terms 

In which these several witnesses have spoken. 

CARLOS. 

I am content. 

lucero. {reads.) 
" The final depositions : — 
Witness the first declares the prince Don Carlos 



60 DON CARLOS, ACT III# 

Hath several times avowed to the deponent 
He scrupled at the death of heretics : 
That when he heard of forty Lutherans burnt 
At the late Act of Faith he wept and spoke 
In bitter phrase of this most holy office:" 
So says this witness — 

VALDEZ. 

Prince, what say you ? 

CARLOS. 

On! 

LUCERO. 

The second witness speaks at greater length 
Of several discourses, when the prince 
Excused the blasphemy of Luther. 

CARLOS. 

Said 
The witness not I held his doctrine false ? 

VALDEZ. 

That is not now the matter in debate. 
All that a witness states that does not bear 
A hue of criminality is struck 
From out our minutes. 

CARLOS. 

That, I must presume, 
Is part of your pure justice. — On Lucero. 

LUCERO. 

" Spoke 
At sundry times of plans for the relief 
And ease of the self-styled reformed ; conferred 



sc. II. A TRAGEDY. 6 1 

With Berg and Montigny, the deputies, 

Respecting terms on which the Flemish soil 

Should be delivered, as he termed it, from 

The inquisition,: various interviews 

Were held between the prince and Montigny, 

Whereby that obstinate rebellious lord 

Gained strength and vigour in his impious treason 

Against his God and king : nay more, of late 

His highness had so fallen from his duty, 

As to resolve a secret enterprise 

To Flanders ; many preparations spoke 

His purpose settled, and a trusty servant 

Went to Madrid to gather from all hands, 

Pure and impure, the means by which the prince 

Was to make good his flight : the time was fixed 

Two days from hence." 

VALDEZ. 

What says your highness now ? 
There is much more of this. 

CARLOS. 

Go on, Lucero. 
Waste not the time, but let me hear the pith — 
'Tis a well-fancied labyrinth. 

LUCERO. 

" The third 
Deposes that the prince impenitent, 
Avowed his conscience stained with perjury ; 
Acknowledged he had broken the great oath 
Sworn before thousands at Valladolid; 
That he had comforted the church's rebels ; 



62 DON CARLOS, ACT ill. 

That he had studied deep the holy bible, 
And found no precept that commissions man 
To slay his erring brother : he confessed 
At full the project of a flight to Flanders." 

LUCERO. 

What says your highness ? 

CARLOS. 

Nothing. 

LUCERO. 

Is this charge 
A true one ? must this court indeed believe 
Your highness guilty ? I hope not — but then 
You must disprove the accusation. 

CARLOS. 

First 
Let your staunch blood-hounds prove it — I'll not answer 
Till I perceive the hand that strikes. Your witnesses 
May be the foul creations of your brain. 
Are they of flesh ? Who is the man, I ask, 
Assails my good name thus ? 

VALDEZ. 

Think not, my prince, 
Our usages compel us to betray, 
Those who have served us, to the vengeful sw r ord 
Of criminals. 

CARLOS. 

Of criminals ? not thus 
Should I be honoured by my father's subjects. 
You goad me like a bull upon the stage, 



sc. II. A TRAGEDY. 63 

Provoking me to combat for a life 

I cannot save ; ye would inflame my rage 

Till I rush on, and seek myself the death 

To which I am foredoomed : it is your sport — 

Oh ! for an hour of patience. 

VALDEZ. 

Prince of Spain, 
You have tried ours. Not thus have we been wont 
To hear ourselves accused from our own bar. 
Had any other said what you have said, 
Had any other thus refused to give 
Answers to our tribunal, he would prove 
How sharply pain may check philosophy, 
And humble stoic pride : the rack ere now 
Had wrung his limbs. 

CARLOS. 

Alas! 

VALDEZ. 

Fear not, Don Carlos. 
Such torments touch you not. 

CARLOS. 

Nor for myself 
Breathed I that sigh, but for the hapless victims 
Of your fell tyranny. 

VALDEZ. 

For you at least 
Our tyranny relaxes : solemn rules 
Of judgment shall give way : the court allows 
That which no prisoner ever yet enjoyed, 
That you should see the witnesses ; refute 



64 DON CARLOS, act hi. 

From their own mouths, if that be possible, 
The weighty charges you have heard. 

CARLOS. 

Appear, 
Wolves ! 

LUCERO. 

Donna Leonora Cordoba, 
Come into court. [She appears from the side. 

CARLOS. 

Poor fallen instrument 
Of bad designs ; oh, could thy husband see thee, 
How would he feel ! 

LUCERO. 

Don Luis Cordoba, 
Come into court. [He enters from the side. 

CARLOS. 

Luis ! drop out my eyes ! 
Sink from my eye-balls ; ye have seen a sight 
That makes all future vision horrible ! 
This man I deemed a friend : oh, hollow world ! 

VALDEZ. 

There is another witness still, my prince : 
Lucero, speak. 

LUCERO. 

Don Philip, king of Spain, 
Come into court. \_King Philip enters from the side. 

CARLOS. 

My father ! [Sinks into a chair. 

VALDEZ. 

These, my prince, 
These are the witnesses, no airy phantoms, 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 65 

Created by our malice ; no base tools 

Of priestly persecution : witness heaven, 

If we had found that it were possible 

To shut our ears, that any way were left 

To disbelieve or slight the testimony 

That weighs upon your head ; with eager joy 

We had embraced such hope, and closed the abyss 

That yawns so fearfully : 'tis otherwise : 

Not ours the blame : yet may our charity, 
Presuming still the best, cherish the hope 
You can explain these things : the hours you ask 
Shall be allowed for preparation ; then 
Our court shall be assembled, hear at full 
Your highness's prepared defence, and judge 
As truth, and the great cause of christian Spain, 
Shall best direct us. Guards, attend the prince 
To his appointed cell. 

don carlos. (rising.) 

Stand off, ye slaves 
Of wicked masters ! I ask no delay : 
I'll go to trial now ; for my defence 
Is brief and hopeless : I avow it all ! 
All that your witnesses have sworn, I swear, 
And pledge my honour for its truth : think not 
That I will stoop or crouch beneath your feet, 
Unsay my words, and creep away dishonoured. 
What I have done I own ; that I have spoken 

F 



66 DON CARLOS, ACT 

I speak again ; yet I deny my guilt. 
All that I did was innocent. 

VALDEZ. 

Beware 
How you proceed ; the ground on which you tread 
Covers the embers of eternal fire. 

CARLOS. 

I reck not what ye say : I tell you plainly 
I pity heretics, and deem your acts 
Cruel and impious. By what right, I ask, 
Stand ye 'twixt God and man, restricting thus 
The uncontrollable and sacred conscience, 
By your Procrustian bed ? 

VALDEZ. 

I grieve to find 
The heir of Spain so ignorant : know then, 
We hold the scales for the eternal church, 
Whose faith is truth ; whose empire is the soul 
Of lost mankind. It is our sacred duty 
To save our brethren from the treacherous lights 
That lead to hell who follows. 

CARLOS. 

Every church 
Throughout the world may claim like obligation : 
Each is for truth ; the Turk, the Lutheran, 
The Calvinist, the Greek, the Indian Brahmin, 
Proclaims his dogma true : can all be so ? 
If each may persecute, shall not the world 
Be speckled with one truth, and many errors ? 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 67 

VALDEZ. 

This smells of heresy: Don Carlos then 
Doubts our religion true ? 

CARLOS. 

I doubt it not : 
'Tis ye who, by the bloody means ye use, 
Betray your want of faith : Shall not the God, 
Who sent his word with miracles and signs 
To the benighted world, make it prevail 
Without these chains, this rack, these gloomy dungeons ? 

VALDEZ. 

Yet by such means the holy soil of Spain 
Is from the common stain of Europe free ; 
And erring minds are from their wandering path 
Reclaimed by our laborious ministry. 

CARLOS. 

'Tis false : the victims that ye sacrifice 
Are but incensed by your inhuman tortures : 
Souls of immortal men acquire new strength, 
New temper, from the fire of persecution ; 
And future ages shall avow the truth, 
That, in the warfare of contending creeds, 
The martyr's blood waters the victor's palm. 

VALDEZ. 

Yet many have renounced their new-sprung faith. — 

CARLOS. 

Believe them not : their faith is nothing worth : 
A forced conversion is a forced deceit : 
We may grow rich by arts that we detest ; 
f 2 



68 DON CARLOS, A 

We may be cured by medicines that we loathe ; 
But by a worship that the soul abhors 
We never can be saved : 'tis mockery all. 
Of timid men ye may make hypocrites, 
Of zealous men ye may make martyrs ; but 
Of none shall ye make Catholics : the faith 
Of an all-powerful Benevolence 
Thrives not by blood, nor is it given to spread 
The charity of Christ by homicide. 

VALDEZ. 

Prince, you speak boldly : — it befits your rank ; 

Yet know that we have full authority 

To punish unbelievers, and pluck out 

The tares that grow among the wheat. Beware ! 

CARLOS. 

Authority? from whom ? — is it from Heaven ? 
Has God then put his balance in your hands, 
Trusted his sword of justice to your arm, 
That thus ye would usurp his office ? Christ 
Told him alone to judge who had not sinned. 
Have ye not sinned? — but be it ye have not, 
Say, will you stake your souls you cannot err ? 
Or left He upon all the common sin 
That stains the heart, and yet for some annulled 
The common error that infirms the head ? 
I am myself a member of your church ; 
I hold her doctrines, follow her commands ; 
Yet dare I not condemn my fellow man, 
Who sees salvation on the same hill top, 
But treads another path to reach it. 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 69 

VALDEZ. 

Prince, 
We listen with amaze ; with grief much more, 
To hear from royal lips, from lips that once 
Swore to maintain the faith, such guileful words, 
Prompted by Satan to mislead proud youth, 
And goad the gallant spirit to rush on 
To death eternal. We are judges here, 
By warrant from the church ; — the church heaven-born 
Still draws its inspiration from above. 

CARLOS. 

Is it the will of Heaven you speak ? speak mercy. 

Is it Christ's will you do ? be charitable. 

And are ye so ? No ! shame upon you all, 

Your hands are bloody ; to the God of peace 

You offer carnage : this is not divine ; 

It cannot be : your title-deeds are forged ; 

A mortal usurpation. Thus weak man 

Scans the horizon bounded by his sight, 

And thinks he sees the world : but the large eye 

Of heavenly mercy compasses the globe, 

And kens the savage Indian, distinct 

As the great King of Spain. 

PHILIP. 

Prince, I have stood 
In silence, but no less in pain, to hear 
The impious words that one whom yesterday 
I cherished as a son, has uttered forth : 
And much have I admired the patient mercy 
f 3 



70 DON CARLOS, ACl 

Of this tribunal : — but 'tis time to check 
Your reckless turbulence ; the plea you make, 
More strongly clenches and confirms your guilt — 
'Twere well that you retire. 

CARLOS. 

Your majesty 
Shall be obeyed ; yet may I dare to hope 
I have not lost a father ; on your mercy, 
Parent and king, I trust ! 

{Turning to Don Luis and Leonora.) 
For you, mean souls, 
Who have profaned with your vile sacrilege, 
The holy fane of friendship, watched my lips 
To make their utterance destroy their master, 
Heated my embryo notions into life, 
To bid them kill their author, — still provoked 
My heedless confidence, and formed me thus 
To what I have been, that ye then might sell 
My body to a band of bloodsuckers, 
Shall ye escape ? no : for all time to come 
Shall herd ye with the accursed Judas crew, 
And blast your names for ever f'your reward 
Shall turn to poison in your hands, your days 
Of heartless luxury, shall seem a chain 
Of heavy links, binding you to a toil 
That galley-slaves might pity ; the vain search 
To mingle guilt, repose, and happiness. 
Then pillowed restless on your conch of down, 
Ye shall behold a vision menacing, 



sc. ji. A TRAGEDY. 71 

Exclaiming vengeance ! and your stricken hearts 

Shall tell you 'tis Don Carlos. — 

{To the Guards.) On! 

[Exit Don Carlos guarded. 

VALDEZ. 

The prince 
Impels us forward ; still at every step 
I hoped we might be able to return, 
And open wide the gates of mercy : now 
My mind is toss'd in sad perplexity ; 
Here stands my duty to the prince, and here 
My oath to holy church ; both I revere, 
Both I would fain preserve ; my heart will bleed else. 
Through this dark wilderness one path appears : 
It is the glory of this sacred office 
To be protected by the wisest king 
The world has ever seen ; let us do homage 
To his unbated piety, and yield 
Our jurisdiction in this solemn matter 
To his discretion ; reverend fathers, speak, 
Are ye content it should be thus, or stand ye 
In dread of censure, as unworthy servants 
Bending your spiritual oaths to temporal lords ? 

LUCERO. 

We are content. 

SECOND INQUISITOR. 

We leave it to the king. 

PHILIP. 

Most holy fathers, dear would be to me 
This token of your confidence, could T 
f 4 



72 DON CARLOS, ACT 

Feel or think any thing, but of the fate 
Of my unhappy son : sad stroke for me 
That cuts my fair young sapling to the ground 
And leaves my old age withered, shelterless. 
Yet still retaining the same mind and heart 
Which sought for Spain the panoply of God, 
More than the arm of man, I must decline 
To be the arbiter ; Don Carlos stands 
The son of Philip, but the heir of Spain : 
Judge ye, and I the king will pay obedience. 

VALDEZ. 

Consider further, sire ; if this offence 

Is to be measured by the unchanging rules 

That govern our decrees, we cannot bend 

To charitable thoughts, or mitigate 

The rigour of the law : 'twere perjury 

In us to judge the crime that has been done 

Less than it is. 

LEONORA. 

Methinks such perjury 
Would ne'er be registered in heaven's book 
For future punishment. 

VALDEZ. 

Lady, I pray attend 
To your own soul ; our path is fenced and straight ; 
We cannot step aside : bethink you, sire, 
If you can bear to hear a son condemned, 
To save the public welfare ; 'tis a virtue 
So harsh and rugged that in many ages 
But one or two appear who have sustained 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 73 

Such iron trial : sire, attempt it not : 
We pray you to assume the easier part, 
To use your mercy, not invoke our justice. 

PHILIP. 

Not so — it seems — and yet — how said you, father ? 

VALDEZ. 

We prayed your majesty to stop this cause 
Ere it grow perilous : your reign deserves 
A sunset of repose ; leave us to combat 
The future tempests that your heir may raise : 
Thus shall the people think you merciful, 
Your family, the queen herself rejoice 
To know Don Carlos safe. 

PHILIP. 

Proceed, Valdez ; 
The cup is bitter, but my duty bids, 
And I must quaff it : judges all, I pray, 
Speak what your duty bids you. 

VALDEZ. 

Hard indeed 
Is this command ; would we might still be spared ! 
Here in the name of this most holy office 
I solemnly pronounce — what noise is that ? 

Enter Familiar. 

FAMILIAR. 

The holy bishop of Osma, reverend fathers, 
Has gained admittance, and insists to see 
The king. 



74 DON CARLOS, ACT 

VALDEZ. 

Unheard of insult ! have we lost 

All dignity ? None enter here ! conduct 

The old man forth. 

Enter Bishop of Osma. 

osma. 
My king ! my gracious king ! 

PHILIP. 

Most reverend father, why are we disturbed, 
When in this temple no one of our court 
Has right of ingress ? 

OSMA. 

Sire, I pray you grant 
Some moments' private audience. 

PHILIP. 

Fathers, I pray 
An instant's patience. — Osma, we stand here 
Apart. Speak quickly. 

OSMA. 

Sire, most gracious king, 
My constant benefactor, sovereign master, 
It is Don Carlos brings me here ; I come 
To plead for my dear pupil ! 

PHILIP. 

Why suppose 
That any danger threatens him ? 

OSMA. 

Alas! 
I know it well, these gloomy judges meet 



sc. II. A TRAGEDY. 75 

To make the prince a criminal : alas ! 
The heavy day for me, whose waning lamp 
Borrows its sinking light from his bright radiance. 

PHILIP. 

Well, be it that the prince is on his trial ; 

Sits there not here a council capable 

To sift the truth, that thou should'st thus intrude 

A new uncalled assessor ? 

OSMA. 

Gracious sire, 
Here Justice sits alone — a frowning power, 
Whose presence is too terrible for man, 
Unless her sister, Mercy, standing by, 
Temper the ruthless rigour of her brow. 

PHILIP. 

Am I not here ? 

OSMA. 

You should be merciful. 
You would be merciful, were not your mind 
So fixed upon your duty to the State, 
That much I fear your heart would sooner break 
Than your firm will relax. 

PHILIP. 

If it be so, 
'Tis well for Spain, though I should act the part 
Of Brutus with my son. 

OSMA. 

Oh dreadful thought ! 
Tigers are cruel, and yet tigers spare 



76 DON CARLOS, act hi. 

Their offspring ; vultures, eagles, leopards, wolves, 

All savage beasts, all bloody slaughtering birds, 

At the loved aspect of their own dear young 

Sheath their fierce claws, and tame their murderous 

beaks : 
Man, man alone is taught by vicious arts, 
He calls civility, to lay his hand 
On his own progeny. 

PHILIP. 

'Tis vapour this : 
Was it to rant and rail at us you broke 
Our solemn councils ? 

OSMA. 

Nay, turn not away : 
If you will try your son, let me be witness. 
I know the current of his thoughts ; the stream 
Of his whole life, from his first boyish days ; 
I know his virtues, deep and rich as gems 
That lie in ocean's beds ; I know his faults, 
Swelling but transient as the drops of air 
That bubble on the surface and are gone. 

PHILIP. 

We ask not of his temper : facts, grave facts, 
Are here in question. 

OSMA. 

Let me know them, sire ; 
They must be twisted from their natural bent, 
To hurt the prince. 

PHILIP. 

He has avowed them all. 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 77 

OSMA. 

Alas ! he is too confident, too strong 
In consciousness of proud integrity, 
To fear the glosses that designing men 
May put upon his actions ; from his speech 
An artful judge may spin a deadly sentence ; 
But a great king, with better augury, 
Will grant his pardon to the generous soul 
Guilt cannot stain, and mercy must reclaim. 

PHILIP. 

We have well weighed these things : retire, old man, 
We have no need of further counsel. 

OSMA. 

One, 
One parting word ; your prudence is of fame, 
Throughout the world : I marvel, therefore, prince, 
You should dissolve the firm cement that binds 
Yourself to Spain ; Philip and Philip's son 
Are of one blood, one rank, one interest : 
While they remain united, all men's eyes 
Look upwards to the throne ; but make the king 
An isolated point, and selfish hearts 
Will ponder who shall to his power succeed ; 
Your ministers, your council, most of all 
This proud, encroaching, monkish oligarchy, 
Will have their share of reverence ; growing fast 
In strength and in support, they will presume 
On your declining years, and your last days 
Will find you helpless, uttering the will 
Of proud presumptuous servants. 



78 DON CARLOS, ACT m. sc. n. 

PHILIP. 

Think you so ? 

OSMA. 

Aye, that I do, and so the world will think : 

The ungrateful world which stamps with its base heel 

The dying lion, when they mark your sceptre 

About to pass into the feeble hands 

Of a child king, will leave your will undone ; 

Your palace void, your court a solitude ; 

In eager homage to these busy monks, 

Who now with pious zeal protect your crown 

From filial enmity ; oh ! did they feel 

Their bosoms clear of sinister designs, 

They would have left the judgment of a son 

Where nature leaves it, where ne'er yet has failed 

Mind to perceive, or heart to do the right ; 

To their undoubted lord, Philip, the king. 

PHILIP. 

This requires counsel. My most holy fathers, 

We have proceeded far to probe this wound. 

Your skill and care are grateful ; yet with pain 

We bear the knife so near a vital part. 

Let us remit the rest until to-morrow : 

To-morrow we meet here again. [Exeunt. 



act iv. sc. I. A TRAGEDY. 79 

ACT IV. 

SCENE I. — Room in the Inquisition. 
Enter Valdez and Cordoba. 

CORDOBA. 

I cannot do this thing. — 

VALDEZ. 

You must and will. 

CORDOBA. 

What, stain my hands with blood ? 

VALDEZ. 

Don Luis, hear; 
Is't that you love Don Carlos ? 

CORDOBA. 

Love the prince ! 
No — bear me witness heaven that I hate 
His life, his words, each atom of him. — 

VALDEZ. 

Right ! 
I hate him not, though for the public weal 
I must pursue him ; were he Catholic 
Pure and unshaken, I would worship him, 
Obey him, love him ; could you do the same ? 

CORDOBA. 

No — that I never could — while he has life 
Shall I have hate. — 



80 DON CARLOS, ACT 

VALDEZ. 

You shallow hypocrite, 
To speak to me of scruples ! we but toil 
To glut your rage, to please your private hate, 
To satisfy your ravenous revenge ; 
Yet you can use the venerated words 
Of conscience, honour and humanity, 
To check my cruelty ! you craven heart ! 

CORDOBA. 

If any way but this of blood might serve. — 

VALDEZ. 

Don Luis, there lived lately in Madrid 
One called Velasco, did you know him ? 

CORDOBA. 

Well: 
He was familiar of the holy office, 
And oft with him have I perform'd the duty 
Of seeking and denouncing heretics. 

VALDEZ. 

Of late 
Have you observ'd him ? 

CORDOBA. 

No — he is not dead — 
At least they say so — but I know not of him. — 

VALDEZ. 

Deep in our dungeons is his bed ; his grave 
In the same place, for never will he more 
From his low cell : ask you his crime, he saved 
Those whom our justice had condemned ; forewarn'd 
His friends of their approaching danger, dared 



sc . ,. A TRAGEDY. 81 

To interpose his thoughts 'twixt our decrees 
And their completion : would you follow him ? 

CORDOBA. 

I know the holy office is severe. 

valdez. 
But most to those who serve her weakly. 

CORDOBA. 

Yet 
My future peace of mind — 

VALDEZ. 

We warrant it : 
St. Peter held the keys of heaven : the pope 
Holds them from him : we from the pope : go now, 
Glut your own love of vengeance, do our will, 
And for the rest trust our authority. — 

CORDOBA. 

I go with heavy heart : may heaven forgive me ! [Exit, 

VALDEZ. 

Go, thou great criminal of little soul ! 
Enter Lucero. 

VALDEZ. 

What think you now Lucero of our hopes ? 

LUCERO. 

The king has asked delay ; but simply thus, 
That we should judge the cause to-morrow. 



82 DON CARLOS, act 

VALDEZ. 

Well? 

LUCERO. 

To-morrow we shall be firm as to-day. 

VALDEZ. 

But will king Philip be as firm ? or think ye 
It strains no heartstrings to condemn a son ? 
To do what Philip did, required a soul 
Wound to the highest ; he must instantly 
Act all he thinks, or sink to nothingness ; 
For at that pitch no mortal mind can stay. 
Our greatest actions, or of good or evil, 
The hero's and the murderer's, spring at once 
From their conception : oh, how many deeds 
Of deathless virtue and immortal crime 
The world had wanted, had the actor said, 
I will do this to-morrow ! 

LUCERO. 

Deem ye then 
That Philip will relent ? 

VALDEZ. 

Aye, that I do — 

LUCERO. 

Then are our lives in danger. 

VALDEZ. 

When the prince 
Ascends the throne we step into our graves ; 
Unless indeed — 



sc. r. A TRAGEDY. 83 

LUCERO. 

What then do you propose ? 

VALDEZ. 

Hearken to me, — 
Some timid compromise is even now 
Upon the stroke of time ; the king prepares 
To send the queen into the prince's cell 
With offers of a pardon on conditions ; 
If all goes well, as much I fear it will, 
Our empire's at an end, and Carlos reigns. 

LUCERO. 

How know you this ? 

VALDEZ. 

No matter how I know it ; 
Ask how I countermine the wavering king : 
How I forestall his weak designs : for this 
Don Luis Cordoba shall be my tool. 

LUCERO. 

What, he ! already known unto the prince ? 

VALDEZ. 

That is indeed a bar : had it not been 
For the old foolish bishop, we had struck 
Our weapons home, and Cordoba been useless. 
Now all is doubtful; yet you know the prince 
Of a soft, credulous, forgiving temper 
That Cordoba is practised in ; he goes 
At this same hour I speak, into the prison, 
g 2 



84 DON CARLOS, 

And there by my direction lays a trap, 
That ends Don Carlos' life. 



You mean to act on ? 



LUCERO. 

Is this the plan 

VALDEZ. 

Yes ! why look you pale ? 

LUCERO. 

While justice armed your hand, and forms of law 
Covered your enterprize, I never shrunk — 
But this mysterious scheme. I shudder — say, 
Have you no feeling for a father's pangs ? 
A son so young ! 

VALDEZ. 

Feelings ! No, none ! — why should I? 
Is not each warmer motion of the blood, 
Nay, all the innocent and pure affections, 
Conjugal tenderness, parental love, 
The great command of nature that encircles, 
In one dear nest a brood of infant loves, 
Beneath a mother's wing ; the cherished bonds 
That turn mere habitation into home, 
To us prohibited ? Is it not thus, 
And can you hesitate ? 

LUCERO. 

'Tis so, indeed; 
Yet we are human. 



sc. I. A TRAGEDY. 85 

VALDEZ. 

List awhile, Lucero : — 
I once was human ; had a heart as soft 
To sensible impressions, tears as quick 
To flow for misery, and a spirit as high 
To right the injured as a man can have : 
My parents chained me to the church ; but yet 
No oath within my power could bar the way 
To natural affections ; and I loved — 
Spare me the rest. I triumphed o'er a passion, 
As pure, as fervent, and as well returned, 
As e'er bound heart to heart : I triumphed — yes, 
I triumphed ; but the fire burnt inwards, till 
My soul grew hard with suffering : I became 
A being but half human ; sense and reason, 
Ambition too remained, but kindlier feelings, 
Filial, fraternal, friendly, all were dead : 
I woke from agony, and found my breast 
Of marble. 

LUCERO. 

Your young feelings raged too wildly : 
We have our precept, but we have our practice ; 
And few indeed of our most saintly men 
Renounce all worldly pleasures ; it is well 
If we preserve the outward show of strictness. 

VALDEZ. 

And think ye then that I could bear to be 
A slave dependant on the idle tongue 
g 3 



86 DON CARLOS 

Of bawds and chamberwomen ? Could I creep 

Like a low felon at the dead of night, 

Belying by my steps the garb I wore ? 

Did I not see that our least frailties 

Were by the world permitted but to bring 

Ourselves in disrepute, and weak subjection 

To those who hold the rod in terror over us ? 

If in our body some frail vessel err, 

The world declares it suits not with our cloth, 

Does not become our holy garb and office : 

While this same generous world absolves itself, 

As if a sword and cloak might plead in bar 

To all impeachment of morality ; 

And 'twere a strange unnatural circumstance 

For priest to sin, or layman to be pure. 

LUCERO. 

It is indeed their custom, yet our brethren 
Suffer the raillery, and seek the sin. 

VALDEZ. 

That would not I ! mine was a soul sent forth 
To soar or burst : I could not trail along 
A thing for Scorn to buffet with his foot, 
Or Pride to glance at with his withering eye : 
But since I wore the cowl it was my care 
To make it honoured : every exercise 
Of harsh injunction, fasts beyond the rule 
Of the fantastic saint who built his school 
Of stoic wisdom 'mid the rocks and wilds, 
Perpetual meditation, fervent prayer, 



sc. I. A TRAGEDY. 87 

Self-chastisement, all that a man can do 
To make himself a spirit, I have done. 

lucero. 
I know it well : your fame of holiness 
Was bruited through all Spain. 

VALDEZ. 

It was my aim, 
And I obtained it : not for empty glory ; 
For as I rooted but the weeds of passion, 
One still remained, and grew till its tall plant 
Struck root in every fibre of my heart. 
It was ambition ; not the mean desire 
Of rank or title, but great glorious sway 
O'er multitudes of minds. 

LUCERO. 

That you have gained. 

VALDEZ. 

I have indeed, and why ? I'll tell thee why. 
The feebleness of common man proceeds 
From hosts of appetites that tear the soul 
With mingled purpose : his resolves are weak, 
His vision clouded ; but my appetites 
Were in one potent essence concentrate ; 
I neither loved, nor feasted, nor played dice ; 
Power was my feast, my mistress, and my game. 
Thus have I acted with a will entire, 
And wreathed the passions that distracted others 
Into a sceptre for myself. 

g 4 



88 DON CARLOS, act iv. 

LUCERO. 

All Spain 
Desires you long may keep it, to preserve 
Our faith entire. 

VALDEZ. 

Aye ; and I will long keep it ; 
But if Don Carlos reigns, who shall preserve 
The faith of Spain ? and shall we stand to weigh 
Each grain and scruple of morality, 
When our great temple shakes I Shall we not rush 
And slay the sacrilegious enemy 
With his own firebrand ? Trust the charge to me ; 
Be mine the guilt ; I feel not for the pangs 
Of those who made me wretched. I can bear 
To see the affections blasted ; so were mine ; 
Men bid us be of stone ; now let them find 
We are so. 

LUCERO. 

I must yield ; your soaring mind 
Ever discovers with an eagle eye 
The better way of safety. 

VALDEZ. 

Let's begone, 
And hasten on the enterprise. — \_Exeunt. 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 89 

SCENE II. 
A Prison. 

DON CARLOS. (solus.) 

Abode of misery ! to what a line 

Of wretched men am I the heir — the walls 

Themselves speak dreadful language, here are names 

And here a thousand marks engraved to tell 

As many days of suffering : pshaw ! away 

Such gloomy thoughts ! they make me sick at heart. 

The light is disappearing through the dim 

And narrow window of my cell — 'tis evening ! 

At this same hour of evening, I have stood 

Upon the borders of the mountain ridge 

That skirts the plain of Seville : the broad sun 

In full effulgence o'er a cloudless sky 

Poured his last flood of brightness : the brown hills, 

The aloe hedge, the rhododendron wild, 

The golden orange and the purple grape 

All seemed as clothed in light ; and now 'tis gone ! 

The god of day has vanished : a low bell 

The general stillness breaks, but not offends ; 

All tongues are whispering prayer and thanks to heaven ; 

And soon again the light guitar is heard, 

And aged grandsires with young hearts behold 

The tender maidens that, with graceful step, 

Lead on the village dance — and yet how many 

Of those who thus rejoice, and sleep at night, 

And wake at sunrise with a heart at ease 



90 DON CARLOS, act iv. 

Would fain be Philip's heir ; and dream that then 
They should indeed be happy — poor vain worm. — 
Osorio — welcome ! 

Enter Osorio. 

OSORIO. 

How fares my gracious master ? 

CARLOS. 

How should I fare but well ? no accident 
Can here affect me ; our good lords, the friars, 
Guard me from harm. 

OSORIO. 

May heaven defend you better 
Than those proud tyrants ! 

CARLOS. 

Hush ! speak not so loud ; 
Their ears are quick, and you, Osorio, 
Who by their clemency have been allowed 
To tend me in my prison, must beware 
Lest you offend. 

OSORIO. 

Oh ! for myself I fear not. 
But for my prince's sake I will be prudent. 
Know then I fear some new and perilous storm 
Is gathering in the sky. 

CARLOS. 

Why think you so ? 

OSORIO. 

I have been keeping watch upon Don Luis : 
He has been busy in his practices 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY.' 91 

With some that are his servants ; it would seem 
If I am not deceived, they are preparing 
Their arms for enterprize this very night : — 

CARLOS. 

'Tis well — I'm satisfied it should be so. 

OSORIO. 

I fear his treacherous and dark designs. 

CARLOS. 

I fear them not. 

OSORIO. 

You speak with confidence. 
Does his ingratitude not move your highness ? 

CARLOS. 

Look you, Osorio — Luis has been here. 

OSORIO. 

Has he ? the villain ! had I met the wretch, 
Body to body, one of us had fallen. — 

CARLOS. 

I too indignant at his treachery 

Refused at first to hear him, but he came 

So penitent, so humble for his fault, 

I could not shut my ears — he knelt and wept, 

And I remembered of the by-gone days 

I loved him as a brother. 

OSORIO. 

Ah ! my prince, 
You are too qilick in your forgiveness ; hasty 
Alike in anger and in mercy. 



92 DON CARLOS, aci 

CARLOS. 

Had you seen 
The poor wretch weep, you had forgiven him too. 

OSORIO. 

Never ! 

CARLOS. 

Nay, but his reasons had prevailed. 
Valdez already had the evidence 
To slay both me and him ; he had his choice 
To perish with me or denounce me. 

OSORIO. 

Well — 
And could a brave man hesitate ? 

CARLOS. 

Besides, 
He made conditions with the holy office 
My life should be preserved ; which otherwise — 

OSORIO. 

Vain falsehoods all ! had they the means to act 
Their bloody purposes, think you that Cordoba 
Could stay their arm ? 

CARLOS. 

Yet Luis was sincere : 
With such an air of artlessness he spoke, 
And with such grief withal, no man could hear, 
And not believe him. 

OSORIO. 

May he have spoken truth ! 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 93 

CARLOS. 

Think not I yielded to mere honied speech : 
He gave an earnest of his faith ; for know — 
There is a plot on foot by which the king 
With show of lenity shall hold out pardon, 
Draw out my secrets, offer a retreat, 
For some few months, and under this pretence 
Convey me to a dungeon, where my life 
Shall fall a prey to fell disease, more sure 
Than the assassin's knife. 

OSORIO. 

'Tis strange ! — Don Luis ! 

CARLOS. 

Don Luis was invited to assist 
In this unnatural treachery, where the father 
Plotted his son's destruction, but he shrunk 
From horrors so satanic. 

OSORIO. 

Did he indeed ? 

CARLOS. 

He did indeed : what means that doubting tone ? 

OSORIO. 

Nay, prince, I know not. 

CARLOS. 

He does more — he risks 
His liberty and life to wipe away 
The stain he has contracted, and to-night 
He comes with friends in arms to save my life. 



94 DON CARLOS, ACT IV 

OSORIO. 

Indeed — 

CARLOS. 

Indeed ! indeed ! had you been here, 
Osorio, all your hatred would have melted 
Into compassion for the high-born soul 
Which, formed for virtue, views with loathing dread 
Its one weak lapse : I would that you had seen 
The anxious gleaming of his generous spirit 
That caught at dangers with an eager longing, 
As if the hour that set my body free, 
Should liberate his mind, that now oppressed 
Lies in a dungeon sadder far than this, 
The gloom of its own thought. 

OSORIO. 

Your noble mind 
Is still magnanimous : I pray to heaven 
The former traitor may be now your friend, 
A real friend : but tell me more, my prince, 
Of his designs. — 

Enter Servant of the Inquisition. 

SERVANT. 

The queen approaches. 

CARLOS. 

So — farewell my friend. 

OSORIO. 

Farewell, dear master. [Exit Osorio. 



sc. ir. A TRAGEDY. 95 

Enter Queen. 

CARLOS. 

Madam, at your feet 
I place my grateful homage ; you confer 
Much honour on a person so unworthy 
Of your regard or thought. 

QUEEN. 

Alas, Don Carlos ! 
I would you were unworthy our regard, 
'Twould spare the bitterness of this affliction 
Unto your father. 

CARLOS. 

So — my father feels 
Afflicted for my sufferings ; 'tis too much ; 
I cannot play the hypocrite ; the king 
Has placed me here, it was his choice, his act ; 
Let him avow it, glory in it, but not hope 
To soothe and tame by courteous blandishment 
The victim that his toils have caught ; to keep 
The prince of Spain a lion in a cage 
The gaze of babes and cowards. 

QUEEN. 

Hold, Don Carlos 
Speak not I pray you in this angry tone, 
Look not, I pray you, with so fierce a glance. 
My will at least is not in fault, and I 
Deserve not your reproaches. 

CARLOS. 

Gracious queen, 



96 DON CARLOS, ACT 

May heaven forbid that I should utter aught 
May wound the smallest nerve of yours. 

QUEEN. 

Indeed 
I have not earned your enmity ; a word 
Of coldness or mistrust from you would grieve me 
Worse than the hate of others. 

CARLOS. 

Pray believe 
My heart is grateful, though it seem unkind. 

QUEEN. 

Nor thus, I pray you, Carlos, but just now 
You were too stern ; speak not of gratitude ; 
I claimed your friendship, but it was in preface 
To that I shall deliver from the king : 
He offers pardon, full and gracious pardon, 
Utter oblivion of all past offence, 
Conditioned only that you shall retire 
For one year's space into Galicia. 

CARLOS. 

Madam, this offer, though from honied lips, 

Strikes not upon my dull and torpid ear 

With such a winning sound as chance it should : 

I cannot fall upon my knees and thank 

The king for this : how know I that my life 

Shall be uninjured in a distant spot, 

Where none shall know my fate ? my friends away ! 

And say besides how shall those friends who stand 

On the same brink of guilt as I, be satisfied 

The king intends no punishment for them ? 



SC. II. 



A TRAGEDY, 97 



QUEEN. 

To them my powers extend not : nay, the king 
Commands before you go, you give a list 
Of all who practised with you, to abet 
The Flemish heretics. 

CARLOS. 

To give a list ! 
He bids me give a list ! a list of blood ! 
That I should lead my friends into the toils, 
And see them singled out for massacre 
By my appointment ! Is it thus he asks 
That I should buy my life, surrendering all 
That makes life precious, conscience, honesty, 
Friendship and faith ? that I should sink unpitied 
To a worse grave of infamy than that 
The sexton digs ? Could I indeed act so, 
I were a victim worthy of the pangs 
The inquisition wreaks her vengeance with ! 
And oh, that you, Elizabeth of France, 
Should hold the poisoned chalice to my lips, 
Mingling your sweetness with its horror. 

QUEEN. 

Prince 
You frighten me with these dark phrases, — why 
So quick in your suspicions ? why so fierce 
In your demeanour ? you were wont to be 
More gentle when you spoke to me. 

CARLOS. 

I was: 
But other times require another tone. 



98 DON CARLOS, AC 

You too were wont to be a friend to me, 
To friendless Carlos, who found every heart 
Barred to his ingress ; one alone he thought 
Gave him compassion in return for — feelings, 
That made him pay implicit service to her : 
That one sole heart is now a garrison 
Of treacherous enemies, and shall I wear 
As smooth a brow, and speak in gentle tone 
Like these disguising monks — I cannot do it. 

gUEEN. 

Stay, stay your anger : calm this causeless rage. 

CARLOS. 

This causeless rage ! oh, my full brain will burst ! 
The objects swim before me : kind Valdez, 
Thy racks have not an agony like this ! 

QUEEN. 

What I have done, I did with friendly purport ; 
May Heaven forgive me if I wounded thee ; 
The surgeon's knife will sometimes cause a pain 
The foeman's sword inflicted not. 

CARLOS. 

And is it thus 
A healing hand would touch ? was it a friend 
That sought to bury me in distant regions 
Where none could know my fate ? was it a friend 
Covered the pit dug by my enemy 
To seem the steadfast ground ? was it a friend 
Who asked me to betray my sworn allies ; 
And thus to cast my honour and my fame 



SC. II. A TRAGEDY. 99 

In the same grave with this poor corse ? [She weeps. 

You weep ? 

QUEEN. 

Alas ! I have offended my best friend — 
Shall I not weep ? 

CARLOS. 

Nay, I am wrong in this. 
It is not you that I accuse : weep not ; 
I am too fretful. 

OUEEN. 

Indeed you wrong me, Carlos. 
I wished to save you ; could you see my heart 
You would not thus upbraid me ; of the plot 
You hint at I know nothing ; I am weak, 
Incurious, ignorant ; oh ! shame on those 
Who practise on my simple intellect ! 

CARLOS. 

It is enough. Come sorrow when it will, 
So it come not from you, I will receive it, 
As the chastising hand of heaven, with gratitude. 

QUEEN. 

But this sad dungeon, Carlos — by what means 
Shall your deliverance hence be wrought ? 



To me 



It matters little. 

QUEEN. 

But to me — how much ! 
If these conditions, as you think, convey 
Destruction on their wings, accept them not. 
h 2 



100 DON CARLOS, act iv 

Hold — yes — 'twill do — another way just now 
Appears to me : put on this cloak, this hat ; 
You shall pass by the guard as queen : start not, 
But straight do as I bid you ; in an hour 
You may evade pursuit. 

CARLOS. 

And you ? 

QUEEN. 

I stay 
To fill your place ; no dangers cower o'er me : 
My faith is not suspected ; I am safe 
After a moment's rage ; and e'en the king 
In a few days will thank me for your safety. 

CARLOS. 

And could you stand this hazard for my sake ? 

QUEEN. 

I can, and will — nay now, pause not, but haste 
To quit this loathsome place. 

CARLOS. 

Too generous woman ! 
Sooner than you should for a single instant 
Risk your fair fame in my behalf, I would 
Give up my body to the fiery pincers, 
Let the hot lead be poured into my wounds, 
My limbs torn one by one from out their sockets, 
And suffer all that cruelty hath yet 
Invented to subdue the heavenly soul, 
Through its unworthy brother, the frail body. 



SC. ii. A TRAGEDY. 101 

QUEEN. 

Fear not for me ; yours is the peril, Carlos, 
Yours is the only hazard ; even now, 
Your danger to my mind grows more and more ; 
A woman may exceed the bounds of rule, 
Where pity prompts ; the general voice allows 
Indulgence to our sex when life depends 
Upon our fiat — go, pray, Carlos, go ! 

CARLOS. 

It may not be ! yet let me thank thee thus — (kisses her 
hand.) 

QUEEN. 

Nay, Carlos, if you wish that I be happy, 
Let me assure your safety ; while your life 
Stands thus in peril I shall know no rest. 

CARLOS. 

Indeed ? 

QUEEN. 

'Tis true indeed. What other motive 
Impelled me to despatch the virtuous Osma 
To plead in your behalf? 

CARLOS. 

You sent him ? 

QUEEN. 

Yes. 

Are you surprised ? 

^CARLOS. 

Oh destiny ! 
H 3 



102 DON CARLOS, act iv. sc. ii. 

QUEEN. 

Dear Carlos, 
Accept my offer. 

CARLOS. 

Kind, yet cruel being — 
Would I might owe my life to you ! but fate 
Has no such bright leaf in her book for me. 

\A whistle is heard. 
Hark ! I have friends at hand, who have secured 
Means of escape : their signal even now 
Warns me that soon that iron grating yields 
To cunning enginry : I go, dear lady. 
You see I trust you with my life, and yet 
I beg you will away; lest you be found 
Within my empty prison, and the king 
Suspect you of confederacy : farewell ! 
And be my life a century or an hour, 
The dearest relic on my heart will be, 
That once the bright Elizabeth of France, 
Moved by her gentle nature, offered me 
To risk her safety as the price of mine. 
On this fair jewel of my memory 
My soul will ever dwell, and fate in vain, 
Possessing that, essay to make me wretched — 
Away, fair queen, away. — 

\He climbs to the grated "window at the top of his 
cell ; the bars give way, and he escapes. 

{Exit Queen. 



actv. sc. i. A TRAGEDY. 103 



ACT V. 

SCENE I. — An Apartment in the Kings Palace. 
Enter the King. 

PHILIP. 

And is it so? and must the die be cast ? 
Must I appear before the Almighty Judge 
The slayer of my son ? no other way 
To save my honour and my crown ? Dread hour 
Of irremediable resolve ! If now 
My will should err, I stain my soul with blood, 
With my son's blood, or else admit a plague 
That shall play havoc in my house, and make 
My name the jest of scoffing Europe ; hell, 
Like a great gulf yawns wide before my eyes. 
Yet could I fix my mind, and close my fate 
In the same instant, 'twere already done, 
And Philip were a Curtius : but not so 
My easy task ; I must perform a deed, 
That gives a hue to all my future years, 
And makes my old age lonely, — shunned, — abhorred. 
Oh Heaven ! thy ways indeed are mystery ! 
Is it because I have obeyed so well, 
h 4 



104 DON CARLOS, act v. 

My trial is so high ? Are thy inflictions 
The more severe the less they are deserved ? 
Or has thy Paradise an endless rapture 
That shall repay this agony ? — Valdez ! 

Enter Valdez. 

VALDEZ. 

Sire, by your majesty's commands I come 
To learn what light has beamed on this sad trial. 
You have observed, from where I placed you, all 
That passed betwixt the queen and prince : how stands 
Your royal mind affected ? 

PHILIP. 

Hark, Valdez ! 
I stood where you desired ; I watched the queen ; 
I saw she made my offer to my son ; 
I saw that he rejected it ; I saw 
He pleaded for her mercy ; and I saw 
He kissed her hand. Incensed I left the place; — 
Would I had never been ! 

VALDEZ. 

And, sire, the queen — 

PHILIP. 

The queen — the queen — why ask you of the queen ? 
Is't not our wife ? can she betray her duty ? 

VALDEZ. 

Far be from me suspicion so disloyal ! 
And therefore of a blacker tinge the crime 
Of the base commonalty, who even now 



sc. i. A TRAGEDY. 105 

Loose their unlicensed tongues in calumny 
Upon the queen. 

PHILIP, 

Ha ! do they so, indeed ? 

VALDEZ. 

They do : 'tis scarce a quarter of an hour 
Since a low fellow in the market-place, 
Struck by the court-purveyor, cried aloud, 
" There's no indulgence now in Spain for sin, 
Excepting for our gracious queen !" I straight 
Ordered the villain into prison. 

PHILIP. 

Rack the slave ! 

VALDEZ. 

It shall be done ; yet I beseech you, sire, 
To set no count on this licentiousness : 
The common sort for ever turn their jests 
On things forbidden, and their ribaldry 
To-day attacks the queen : to-morrow — 

PHILIP. 

Nay, 
I am not moved by the base populace. 
And yet, methinks, their jests, their ribaldry 
Might spare their sovereign's honour : the low vapour, 
That scarcely lifts itself above the marsh 
In which it is engendered, can yet dim 
The glorious sun ; how may the vilest wretch 
Perplex Heaven's chosen king ! 



106 DON CARLOS, Aca 

VALDEZ. 

Yet, sire, I trust 
What I have said has not disturbed — 

PHILIP. 

Disturbed ? 
Am I so fallen ? is the catholic king 
To be diverted from his firm-set purpose 
By market-quarrels ? No ! 

VALDEZ. 

My king, 
Perhaps I am the first who bears the news 
Of the Valencian plot? 

PHILIP. 

Aye ! what of that ? 

VALDEZ. 

It doth appear by true intelligence 

Troops have been levied in Valencia, 

To guard Don Carlos in his Flemish journey, 

And he consenting — 

PHILIP. 

He consenting — so — 
I'm glad of this — say is it proved — is't sure ? 

VALDEZ. 

Beyond all doubt : one villain has confessed : 
The rest had arms upon them. 

PHILIP. 

Thanks, Valdez, 
You have relieved my breast of the dull load 



sci. A TRAGEDY. J 07 

That weighed it to the earth : now shall you see 
What Philip, when resolved, can do ! 

Enter Lucero. 

LUCERO. 

I come 
In haste to give your majesty advice — 
The prince has just escaped. 

PHILIP. 

Escaped, thou sayest? 

LUCERO. 

'Tis so indeed ; but we have raised the guards, 
And hope to reach him. 

PHILIP. 

Has he friends ? 

LUCERO. 

But one 
Seems to have joined him near the prison gate. 

PHILIP. 

He soon shall be a prisoner : follow me. 



{Exit. 



VALDEZ. 

Poor jealous king ! how eagerly he seeks 

A robe of justice to conceal the shame 

Of naked passion : on Lucero, on, 

The deer is roused, and soon shall break his heart 

Within our toils. 



108 DON CARLOS, 



SCENE II. 

A Street. — Stage dark. 

Enter Don Carlos and Cordoba. 

CORDOBA. 

This way, this way, my prince. 

CARLOS. 

I come. 
How sad a brow wears this unusual night ; 
Methinks there is some tempest in the air 
That dyes with deeper dark the midnight hour. 

CORDOBA. 

Indeed the sky is strangely murky. 

CARLOS. 

Aye: 
It seems as though the sun at his bright setting 
Had bid a last farewell to this poor world, 
Disdaining to bestow his glorious light 
Upon the foul or foolish deeds of men 
For one day longer : nay, I wonder not 
His patience is worn out. 

CORDOBA. 

On, on my prince ! 
We linger here : this way — it is more private — 
By this small alley — ha ! 

{Officers of the night guard and of the inquisition meet 
them. 



sc. ii. A TRAGEDY. 109 

OFFICER. 

Who's there? — who's there? — Answer the word, and 
stand. 

CARLOS. 

These are the royal guard. — We're friends. 

OFFICER. 

If so, 
Go with us to the guard-house : none pass here, 
Without examination : 'tis our order. 

CARLOS. 

Nay then, but I will pass. 

OFFICER. 

Ho ! guard ! 

\_Don Carlos Jights with an officer — The guard come 
on the stage — Don Luis draws his sword and wounds 
Don Carlos as he is fighting, — Don Carlos turns 
round and attacks him. 

CARLOS. 

Ha ! traitor ! perjured wretch ! die then a victim 
To thine own villany. 

CORDOBA. 

Oh ! heaven ! my life 
Ebbs out: forgive me, Carlos — nay refrain — 
Forgive me not — I am too vile a wretch 
To hope for man's forgiveness — heaven perhaps 

CARLOS. 

Poor Luis ! yes — I here forgive your crimes 
And injuries, how should I dare refuse, 
That do myself need mercy ! 



110 DON CARLOS, act v. 

CORDOBA. 

Noble mind! [Falls. 

Enter Osorio: with lights and people. 

osorio. 
My prince ; my prince ; where is the prince my master ? 

CARLOS. 

Here, good Osorio. 

OSORIO. 

How, my lord, you speak 
With feeble utterance, how is't with you ? 

CARLOS. 

Hurt 
By a friend's treachery — but he is dead. 
My side is slightly wounded. 

OSORIO. 

Slightly, prince? 
Let us examine, for I have some skill 
In surgery. 

CARLOS. 

'Twere thrown away on me. 
Go, tend on those whose appetite for life 
Is fresh and vigorous — I have tasted it 
So bitter that I ask no more. 

OSORIO. 

This wound 
Is of some danger, yet with instant care — 

CARLOS. 

I tell you that I ask no care — 



sc. ir. A TRAGEDY. Ill 

OSORIO. 

Speak not. 
One moment to a faithful friend, good master ; 
You would not die thus unprepared, nor seek 
The Almighty Judge, till you have bared your heart 
Before him in repentance ! 

CARLOS. 

Faithful friend, 
Do as thou wilt : I am not fit to die, 
Though loth to live. 

OSORIO. 

A bandage here, my friends, 
Staunch this quick flow of blood ; bind up the wound — 
Or else — 



Enter Philip, Valdez, Officers, fyc. 

PHILIP. 

Where is Don Carlos ? lead me to the prince. 
Osorio here ! whence art thou villain ? 

OSORIO. 

Sire — 
I came by accident to where the prince 
Lay sorely wounded, and am busy now 
To bind his wounds, which in few moments else 
Will cause his death — 

PHILIP. 

Hold, traitor ! Take him off 



1 1 2 DON CARLOS, act v. 

And cast him into prison. 

[Osorio is taken off by the Guards. 
Leave the prince. 

CARLOS. 

My father — is't my father's voice I hear ? 
Speak to me, gracious lord ! 

PHILIP. 

My son I come : 
Valdez — 

VALDEZ. 

Shall I, sire, seek a skilful leech 
To probe his wounds ? 

PHILIP. 

No, father ! Leave the prince. 
[To his Guards. 
Did you not hear that meddling servant say 
That he should die from loss of blood ? Valdez, 
I feel for Carlos as a father should, 
But as the king of Spain, father of all 
Who own her sway, Heaven bids me not bequeath 
Their lives and fortunes to a heretic — 

VALDEZ. 

'Tis spoken like a king — 

PHILIP. 

Don Carlos lies 
Upon the threshold of unbidden Death ; 
Shall I arrest his arm ? shall I preserve 
A serpent in my bosom, to come forth 
And sting my people when I'm in my grave ? 
No, reverend father, conscience and stern duty 



A TRAGEDY. 113 



Compel me to this painful consummation. 
'Twill soon be over. 

VALDEZ. 

Gracious king, permit 
A subject to adore the sovereign wisdom 
Of all your deep decrees. 

CARLOS. 

Give me to drink — 

PHILIP. 

Give him to drink, Valdez. 

VALDEZ. 

I will : 'twere well 
To make all safe : here, soldier, bring us drink. 

[Soldier brings a cup ; Valdez puts poison in it, and 
sends it to Don Carlos — Don Carlos drinks, 

CARLOS. 

Father, was it indeed — 
Or did I dream, my father, that I heard ? 

PHILIP. 

Prince, I am here. — 

CARLOS. 

Approach me, oh, my father ! 
The chill of death encompasses me round ; 
Yet some few awful moments still remain, 
Between this passing life and life eternal. 
Oh, let me supplicate my honoured father, 
That I may die in peace ; load not my soul 
Upon its passage with a parent's curse : 
Forgive me, pray forgive me. 



1 1 4- DON CARLOS, ACT v . 

PHILIP. 

Thy offence 
Must be repented — my full pardon else 
Will nought avail. — 

CARLOS. 

On this tremendous brink 
Of immortality, I dare not speak 
That which my heart avows not ; my intent 
Was pure, my ends were just and merciful. 
But that the things I worthily conceived 
I acted sinfully ; that my whole life 
Was mixed with dross of human frailty, 
This I confess ; I have been hasty, rash, 
Irreverent — for this I pray forgiveness. 

PHILIP. 

My guards retire. 

[All retire but Valdez and LuCERO. 
In all my conduct, Carlos, 
I never swerved from duty sweet or harsh, 
Nor will I now : before I give my pardon. 
Answer the truth to what I ask — 

CARLOS. 

I will — 

PHILIP. 

Say then if ever you conspired to snatch 

The crown from off my head, by rebel hands ? 

And leave me to expire a king deposed ? 

CARLOS. 

False, by the heaven above ; I never meant, 
I never wished, I never dreamt such crimes, — 



sc . „. A TRAGEDY. 115 

May hell now open, and its horrid jaws 
Swallow me straight if such unnatural treason 
E'er found its dwelling in my breast ! 

PHILIP. 

'Tis strange ! 

VALDEZ. (to LUCERO.) 

The king is shaken, — mark, his brow relaxes ! 

PHILIP. 

My heart would fain believe you — but say, further, 
Have you in any hour of wicked dreams, 
When the fell spirit gains possession, sketched 
A kingdom of your fancy, where the queen, 
Our queen, the queen of Spain, being of your age, 
Became your consort ? 

CARLOS. 

Never, never, king. 

PHILIP. 

Have you not thought of her, adored her, loved her ? 

CARLOS. 

What I have thought, in what place I have loved, 
Might haply better sink with me, and melt 
With millions of deceitful images, 
And frail desires of mind into oblivion ; 
Henceforth, God is my judge ; the world is none 
To me, nor I unto the world ; yet still 
Since 'tis a father's voice invokes me — I will speak. 
I know not how our hearts are made, but mine 
Responded only to the voice of her 
Whom once I viewed as my betrothed : your wife 
I have revered her : yet my days and nights 
i 2 



116 DON CARLOS, ACT v. 

Were past in combat with my soul's destroyer, 
This monstrous passion ; as my last defence 
I meditated flight, hence rose my crime — 
The intended journey into Flanders, there 
I hoped to vanquish, and be once more pure. 

PHILIP. 

But of the queen, Don Carlos ? 

CARLOS. 

Heaven preserve her ! 
Never did perishable casket hold 
So bright a jewel, never did a soul 
Ethereal descend to earth and catch 
So little of its dross ; it was her praise, 
Not to shun evil, but to think no evil. 
Here, as a dying man, I swear by all 
My hopes of life eternal that the queen 
Heard not a whisper of my fatal passion : 
She's innocent to God, — to you — 

PHILIP. 

My son ! [Embraces him, 

VALDEZ. [to LUCERO.) 

See how his lip untwists itself, and now 
He throws his arms about his son. 

LUCERO. (tO VALDEZ.) 

Hark, father ! 

CORDOBA. 

Believe the prince. 

PHILIP. 

What voice is that ? 



sen. A TRAGEDY. 117 

CORDOBA. 

A villain's: 
But there behold a greater : on my knees 
I pray for punishment upon Valdez : 
He told me that the king abhorr'd his son — 
But had not courage to — command his death — 
The prince is innocent — Valdez and I [Dies. 

PHILIP. 

My son is innocent ! alas ! the hour 
When I believed your enemies — ev'n now 
You die a victim of my murderous hands, 
Perhaps there still, however — help, there — ho ! 

CARLOS. 

It is too late — I feel death strangle me — 

But a few moments more and all is over ; 

Thanks be to heav'n — my life has not been happy, 

But short and void of crime : had I been doomed 

To stay a longer space upon the earth, 

What strife, what struggles were prepared for me ! 

Had I been fortunate, 'twere scarce with innocence, 

Had I been innocent, why then not happy ! 

I was a summer plant that prematurely 

Bloomed in the early spring. Perhaps a day 

May come when Spain will ask to know my fate, 

And, knowing it, not censure my intent. 

To make men love each other was my wish. — 

I die the victim of their hate — I feel — 



118 DON CARLOS, act v. 

Enter Queen and Donna Leonora. 

QUEEN. 

Where is the prince ? conduct me to him — stay — 
Is this Don Carlos ? wounded ? Carlos — speak — 
Let me bind up your wounds. 

CARLOS. 

I die — but happy — 
Farewell, Elizabeth. [Dies. 

QUEEN. 

Oh ! horrid deed ! 
He's dead — yes quite, quite, quite dead. 
Alas ! he never shall unclose those eyes ; 
Never again — oh ! where is now that smile 
StoPn from heaven ? — from heaven ? — he is gone there. 
Thou pure and perfect being ! — is he dead ? 
Aye dead and cold. 

PHILIP. 

Be calm, Elizabeth. 
'Tis unbefitting you be here — retire — 

QUEEN. 

And who art thou ? art not his murderer ? 
Philip, the man whom thou hast slain was one 
Your kingdoms cannot match, a soul of fire, 
The skies but seldom grant to our base earth — 
What hast thou done ? what cunning perfidy 
Has led thee to this crime ? what art thou now ? 
A king? oh no ! — a trembling murderer ! 
Assassin of thy son ! a midnight murderer ! 



sen. A TRAGEDY. 119 

PHILIP. 

You rave — away — 

QUEEN. 

Away from me, I say : 
I will no more e'en look upon thee. Prince. k 
Unhappy Carlos ! may thy spirit ascend 
Swift to the realms of rest ! thy angel soul 
Troubled no more with our gross manacles, 
Harassed no more by mortal enemy, 
Glide through the regions of unbounded space, 
And in the chambers where the just repose, 
Find thy delicious dwelling ! hold — I see — 
Where am I now ? is it not all a dream ? 
Take — take me away — 

[She faints in Leonora's arms, who carries her off. 

VALDEZ. 

Lucero — hush — 
If we retain our station, and our power, 
The queen shall die — 'twere easy — very easy — 

philip. (to Valdez.) 
Thou precious villain ! thou hast done all this — 
'Tis thou hast led me on — my guards there, ho! 
Thou hast destroyed my honour — 

VALDEZ. 

Sire 

PHILIP. 

Speak not — 
( To the Guards who come forward.) 
Seize that arch traitor ! Yes — Valdez I mean — 
The Great Inquisitor. 

(To Valdez.) 
Thou savage monster ! 



120 DON CARLOS. ACT v . sc . n. 

I will not take thy life, but a lone cell, 
Henceforth, be thy abode. Away with him ! 

VALDEZ. 

One mc uvmt's pause I pray ye. — Think not, king, 

That yon perpetual prison, though it blast 

My det est hopes, and leave me to reflect 

On things that should not have been done, shall make 

Of me the only wretched victim here — 

There is another. Yes. — In my dark hours 

I will but call to mind your jealousies 

And thus be comforted : you had a son ; 

And there he lies, the victim of your fears. 

You have a beauteous queen, but can you love her ? 

Can she love you ? no : your brave son is dead, 

Your wife will quickly follow ; you will find 

Or dream a plot till you have slain her ; then, 

What shall your dreary palace hold more sweet 

Than my low dungeon ? nay, inflict the rack : — 

Its tortures cannot furnish half the pangs 

Suspicion shall inflict upon the king ! 

[Exit Valdez, guarded, 
philip. (solus.) 
May this sad story rest for ever secret ! 
Vain hope ! in one short day I have destroyed 
My peace of conscience and my hopes of fame ! 






London : 

Printed by A. & R. Spottiswoode, 

Ne w- Street- Square .